Five weeks after being sued by creditors in a New York court, Buenos Aires Province says it is ready to return to the negotiating table.
Argentina's most-populous province, which has been in default for almost a year, said Monday it would invite its main creditors to a round of consultations to identify "final improvements" in its debt restructuring offer, and that after those talks it will announce a modified offer in the next few weeks, according to a statement posted on the regional government's website.
The return to the negotiating table comes after a group of creditors filed a lawsuit against the province in the in New York courts back in March, asking for more than US$366 million in unpaid principal and interest. The government in La Plata has extended the deadline for creditors to accept an initial debt proposal more than a dozen times, all of which have been roundly rejected by bondholders. The most recent offer expires on May 7.
"Since the invitation was launched on April 24, 2020, the province has maintained a constant dialogue with its bondholders," Governor Axel Kicillof's administration said in its statement. "During this time, the province has constantly sought ways to reach an understanding with its bondholders."
The move also comes after renewed criticism from the province's largest group of creditors. They wrote in a statement Friday that provincial officials have "chosen to pursue a course of confrontation and default" and have not presented a debt restructuring proposal that accurately reflects the regional government's ability to pay.
"For more than 12 months, the province has promoted, without amendment, an exchange offer based on restructuring terms that have been decisively rejected by the bondholders thirteen times," read that statement. "A resolution can be found, but only when Governor Kiciloff and his team stop playing politics with the province's finances."
Another nine Argentine provinces have reached debt restructuring agreements with creditors. Both Buenos Aires Province and La Rioja Province have been sued by creditors for non-payment.
by Scott Squires & Jorgelina do Rosario, Bloomberg