(Bloomberg) -- Bitter fights between creditors to get higher returns on distressed companies are “real,” according to the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kyma Capital.

Akshay Shah cited a “pretty astonishing” situation in France as a recent example while speaking at the Bloomberg Global Credit Forum in London on Thursday. So-called creditor-on-creditor violence is becoming common in US restructuring deals, but it’s still relatively rare in Europe.

A group of creditors self-selected themselves on a creditor committee, paid themselves fees and agreed on rights offerings excluding other investors, Shah said. 

“Their economics end up being dramatically different from others,” he said. “That’s the sort of thing which my investors pay me to object to because this is clearly contravening certain laws.”

While he didn’t name any specific company, Kyma has been siding with Fortress Investment Group in contesting the deal to restructure French carehome operator Orpea. As part of the plan, French state-owned lender Caisse des Depots et Consignations will have the largest stake in the group. 

Read more: France’s Caisse des Depots Optimistic on Orpea’s Restructuring

Speaking about market opportunities, Shah says Kyma is focused on the European mid-market, where the maturity wall is closer than in the US and where the firm has a competitive edge. 

“Apollo and some of these other firms are big whales swimming in the Atlantic, I want to be the big fish in Hampstead Pond”, he said.



--With assistance from Lisa Abramowicz.

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