(Bloomberg) -- Creditors of Unigel Participacoes declared the early maturity of local bonds after failing to reach an agreement with the troubled Brazilian fertilizer maker.
Holders of Unigel’s local notes voted for the acceleration in a meeting on Wednesday, choosing not to extend a 90-day standstill agreement that expired the day before, according to a copy of the meeting’s minutes reviewed by Bloomberg News. They are set to regroup on Dec. 11 to deliberate on allowing a trustee to begin procedures to execute on the debt, according to the document.
A representative for Unigel said in a statement that holders were demanding more favorable conditions relative to other creditors and that the company is still working on a solution. The notes in question account for about 11% of Unigel’s total debt, according to the statement.
Unigel skipped payment of coupons on its dollar and Brazilian real-denominated notes in the past few months as falling global fertilizer prices drag earnings and high interest rates add to cost pressures. The company, which was cut to default by ratings firms and hasn’t disclosed results for the second and third quarters yet, needs additional funds to cover its 2023 and 2024 financing needs.
The firm has hired Moelis & Co and two legal advisers to negotiate a restructuring deal with creditors.
The chemical producer was founded by Henri Slezynger, an 87-year-old Belgian naturalized Brazilian who studied chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Slezynger family owns Unigel through a holding company and its fortune is valued at around $2 billion, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The dollar bonds, which traded above par in January, changed hands at around 34 cents on the dollar Wednesday. The notes have handed investors one of the biggest losses this year in percentage terms for emerging-market companies.
S&P Global Ratings rated the company in default after it failed to make the $23.2 million interest payment on the dollar bonds, even after a grace period. Fitch Ratings withdrew its credit score on Unigel.
--With assistance from Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo.
(Updates with Unigel comment in third paragraph.)
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