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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Argentina Bondholders Come Out of Woodwork

MANHATTAN (CN) - A pair of federal complaints accuse Argentina of failing to make good on $8 million in bond payments.

The Friday afternoon suits come some weeks after U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa found the country in contempt of court for not repaying $1.3 billion it owes to NML Capital and Aurelius.

Those hedge funds bought the country's debts for pennies on the dollar in 1994, and earned the moniker vulture funds for refusing to participate in restructuring plans in 2005 and 2010.

The investors who filed suit Friday were not among the holdouts whom Griesa ordered relief.

The judge even made it clear during trial that his order did not apply to every bondholder under the sun.

Andarex says in one of the new lawsuits that it is owed $6 million for purchasing the South American country's bonds in the '90s.

That firm's attorney, Andrea Boggia, said his client had to file its injunction to get paid at the "same pace" as the others.

"No payment can be made to one bondholder over another," Boggia said in an interview.

Griesa had ruled that the bank must pay holdouts when it pays other bondholders.

In the other lawsuit, Argentina is accused of defaulting on repaying $1.9 million.

Trinity Investments Ltd.; Procella Holdings L.P.; Yellow Crane Holdings LLC; Red Pines LLC; Honero Fund I LLC; MCHA Holdings LLC; ARAG-T Ltd.; ARAG-V Ltd.; ARAG-O Ltd.; and ARAG-A Ltd filed this 52-count lawsuit.

Those plaintiffs are represented by Timothy DeSieno with Bingham McCutcheon. He has not returned a request for comment made late Friday afternoon.

Griesa found Argentina in contempt in September for failing to repay its bondholders as ordered, and for trying to sidestep his decision when its legislature passed debt-swap laws and tried to switch banks to get out of repayment.

"We all know holding a party in contempt of court is a rare thing," Griesa said, noting that he had no other choice but to hold Argentina in contempt because of the "illegal conduct of the republic to unlawfully change" the terms of its agreements.

In September, he let Citigroup make a $5 million interest payment, and gave Argentina until this New Year's Eve to make an additional $262 million payment.

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