AP

Legal push to cut Puerto Rico power company debt delayed

Dec 1, 2022, 11:42 AM | Updated: 4:52 pm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Efforts to restructure some $9 billion in debt held by Puerto Rico’s power company hit a new snag Thursday following multiple failed attempts to end its bankruptcy.

Officials had until Thursday to submit a new proposal on how to cut the Electric Power Authority’s debt — the largest held by any government agency — but a mediation team overseeing negotiations between bondholders and Puerto Rico’s government requested a one-week extension.

Federal Judge Laura Taylor-Swain, who is overseeing the case, approved the extension request, saying it was reasonable and necessary.

Solving the power company’s debt is considered key for Puerto Rico’s economic development as the U.S. territory remains mired in a deep economic slump and investors continue to be spooked by the financial uncertainty and chronic power outages blamed in part on aging infrastructure stemming from decades of neglect and mismanagement.

Puerto Rico emerged earlier this year from the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history after announcing in 2015 that it was unable to pay its more than $70 billion public debt following decades of corruption, mismanagement and heavy borrowing. The island’s power company is now the only government agency left that has yet to restructure its debt. Many on the island fear that ongoing prickly negotiations might lead to yet another increase in already costly electric bills to finance payments to creditors.

In a court filing Thursday, the mediation team noted that a federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances and representing the island’s government in the bankruptcy case has failed to submit basic data and analyses relevant to ongoing negotiations over the power company’s debt.

The team said that without the information, there could be no further progress toward a consensual resolution.

“Stated differently, good faith negotiations…require transparency from both sides and continued engagement,” the team said in its filing.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, the board said it has cooperated and would continue to cooperate.

The mediation team noted that the board agreed to deliver all information sought by Friday and would be available for questions. It added it was reluctant to request the extension but that forcing the board to file a debt restructuring proposal on Thursday would not be conducive to a consensual resolution.

The request comes after a federal judge overseeing the case ordered a fresh round of mediation talks in late September after an impasse between the board and bondholders. The judge also allowed the board to go to court to determine the amount bondholders should receive.

In March, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced that his administration was scrapping a proposed debt restructuring deal for the power company that had been in the works for several years, saying it was neither feasible nor in the island’s best interest.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

9 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

7 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

8 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

10 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

10 days ago

(Pexels photo)...

Associated Press

Baby in Kansas City, Missouri, dies after her mother mistakenly put her in an oven

An infant in Missouri died when her mother mistakenly put her down for a nap in an oven, a prosecutor said Saturday.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Legal push to cut Puerto Rico power company debt delayed