Interviews underway for Puerto Rico's PREPA restructuring chief - sources

Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:13pm EDT

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Candidates are being interviewed this week for a chief restructuring officer at Puerto Rico's struggling power authority, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, must hire a CRO by Sept. 8 under an agreement with creditors as it works on developing a restructuring plan to revive the utility, which has more than $9 billion in debt. Interviews are expected to last a few days, one of the people said.

The CRO will essentially lead PREPA through what are expected to be contentious restructuring talks, working with creditors to develop a business plan and manage the agency's liquidity.

PREPA said in a statement to Reuters on Wednesday the tapping of a CRO is a "competitive process."

"PREPA is looking for the best candidate ahead of September 8th," the agency said. "We will provide an update when a final decision has been made."

Interviews are likely to include candidates from established, U.S.-based turnaround advisory firms, said one of the people briefed on the matter. It is unclear whether the field could also feature less conventional professionals with more familiarity with Puerto Rico's political landscape. (Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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