NEW YORK, April 10 Puerto Rico's Government
Development Bank, the U.S. commonwealth's financing arm, has
hired a third company with restructuring expertise as the island
tries to balance its budget while also jump-starting its
The bank has hired West Palm Beach, Florida-based FTI
Consulting, a global advisory firm that includes restructuring
and turnaround experts.
The GDB had also recently retained Cleary Gottlieb Steen &
Hamilton, a New York-based law firm with a specialist practice
in financial restructuring, and Millco Advisors LP, a
Washington-based affiliate of the firm Millstein & Co.
The hiring of FTI was first reported by the Wall Street
"In keeping with its commitment to the people of Puerto Rico
and all of its stakeholders, the GDB frequently engages leading
advisors to support its due diligence and decision making
processes," a bank spokesman said in an emailed statement to
"To that end, the GDB has engaged FTI Consulting to advise
on its ongoing and previously disclosed efforts to ensure that
the Island's public corporations improve their operational and
FTI declined to comment.
The Journal reported that the consultants were focused on
the island's power and transportation authorities.
Representatives from the Puerto Rico Electric Power
Authority and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation
Authority were not immediately able to comment.
Puerto Rico is struggling with an economy in or near
recession for eight years as well as a budget full of holes.
All three major rating agencies cut the territory's debt to
junk earlier this year, another blow as the administration of
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla tries to restart growth while also
balancing the budget.
Padilla has raised taxes, overhauled retirement programs and
pledged to end years of operating deficits. The administration
is also working to bring the large underground economy out of
the shadows and onto the tax rolls.
While a $3.5 billion bond sale in March was heavily
oversubscribed, the bonds nonetheless fetched a yield above 8
The sale spared Puerto Rico from the threat of imminent
default, but few who have followed the Caribbean island's
financial troubles doubt that a massive restructuring is in its
(Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert in Washington)