UK court gives green light to Wind Hellas deal

A British court has given the green light to a restructuring deal from Wind Hellas’s parent Weather Investments that will wipe out the investments of the Greek telecoms giant’s junior creditors.

Senior creditors earlier this month accepted a plan from Weather, controlled by Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, to restructure Wind Hellas’s €3.2bn debt burden, rejecting a bid for the business from the subordinated bondholders, owed some €1.2bn.

The court agreed the appointments of Maggie Mills and Alan Hudson from Ernst & Young as administrators of the business, E&Y said in a statement on November 26. The court sanctioned the restructuring deal, slated for November 27, which will see Weather’s plan implemented.

But subordinated bondholders maintain their offer was better than Weather’s and vow to continue their fight to recover their money.

“Our latest proposal offered vastly superior economic returns to all stakeholders as well as laying the foundations for an early refinancing in 2010,” said a spokesman for the subordinated bondholders committee.

“We look forward to recovering value for our bonds from these actions through the courts,” he added.

Subordinated bondholders, whose actions to date have been led by Aladdin Capital, said they will ask administrators to look into the actions of the Greek telecoms company in the lead up to the acceptance of the Weather bid and will also ask British and European policymakers to review insolvency laws.

Weather and the subordinated bondholders submitted the only two formal bids in the debt-restructuring process, in which Wind Hellas spoke to 29 parties, including former owner private equity firm TPG.