Belize makes Debt Exchange Offer

On December 18, 2006, the Government of Belize launched an offer to exchange the country’s outstanding commercial indebtedness in return for new USD bonds to be issued by Belize.

The financial terms of new bonds have been previously announced by Belize in a press release. Briefly, they include a final maturity falling due in 2029, equal semi-annual principal amortizations commencing in 2019, and a step-up coupon structure with annual interest payments set at 4.25% for the first 3 years after issuance of the bonds, 6% for years 4 and 5, rising to 8.5% in year 7 through to maturity.

Before the exchange offer, the Belizean authorities had 4 months of intensive consultations with the affected creditors.

The launch of the transaction was approved in the middle of December. Tenders by the creditors are due until January 26, 2007. The transaction is expected to close during the 3rd week of February 2007.

Financial advisers to Belize Government in the transaction are Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin.

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