(Bloomberg) -- Sunac China Holdings Ltd., once among the country’s five biggest developers, said it’s reached agreement with a group of key bondholders as the firm laid out details of a debt-restructuring plan that includes the ability to receive equity.
The builder has signed a restructuring support agreement with an ad-hoc group of investors that hold more than 30% of Sunac’s outstanding offshore debt, it said in a Hong Kong exchange filing. The announcement comes 10 months after the developer first defaulted on public dollar bonds. Sunac has more than $9 billion of unsecured offshore debt.
Holders would receive new debt that matures two to nine years from either the restructuring plan’s effective date or Sept. 30, according to the filing. Among other details, Sunac will have the option to extend the maturity of shorter-dated new bonds under an increased interest rate. Meanwhile, noteholders will be able to swap Sunac debt into shares of Sunac Services Holdings Ltd.
Following the restructuring proposals, Sunac will try to trim down its outstanding debt to between $3 billion and $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, who requested not to be named because the matter is private.
The company, which has the one of the highest amount of offshore credit among defaulted Chinese developers, signed restructuring support agreements with investors holding almost $3 billion of dollar notes, according to the people.
The restructuring agreement is “a first step toward restoring its suspended shares to trading again,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kristy Hung wrote in note Wednesday. “Share trading resumption is key to the value of any debt-to-equity swap.”
The restructuring will be implemented through one or more schemes of arrangement, and that process will begin as soon as possible, Sunac China said.
The company will have to start paying interest partly in cash starting from the second year, the filing showed. Among the new notes designed to extend original debt by as long as nine years, the earliest tranche mature in two years, while Sunac has right to extend maturity by another year.
Chinese developers including Sunac fell into distress during an unprecedented property slump. It’s prompted regulators to formulate a sweeping rescue plan for the industry. Earlier this month, the defaulted developer warned investors that it expected a second consecutive year of net losses of as much as 28 billion yuan ($4.1 billion), partly due to delays in project delivery, which led to a decline in income booking.
Sunac made progress with its plan to restructure offshore debt, after an ad hoc group of offshore debt holders voiced vocal support for the arrangement in early March, Bloomberg News reported.
In January, the developer received bondholder approval for an extension on its domestic debt.
(Updates with details about Sunac’s debt overhaul plans)
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