Oil and Gas

UPDATE 2-YPF creditors split over debt deal as deadline nears

(Adds comments from second bondholder group in support of the offer, share price move)

NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES, Feb 2 (Reuters) - YPF creditors split on Tuesday over the Argentina state energy firm’s planned $6.2 billion debt restructuring, with one group saying it would support its latest amended offer, while another rejected it as still falling short.

The debt exchange offer, which expires on Friday, has roiled YPF’s shares and bonds in recent weeks and thrown a spotlight on its struggles in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has hit energy prices and demand.

The YPF Ad Hoc Bondholder Group, represented by Clifford Chance LLP, says it holds over 45% of YPF’s March 23, 2021 bonds and that the latest offer was an improvement, but “fails to provide a balanced solution,” including “appropriate treatment” for bonds maturing next month.

That creditor group said it submitted a counter-proposal “that would provide additional cash flow flexibility and interest savings over the next several years with below-market interest rates,” according to its statement.

A second group, led by Dechert LLP and DLA Piper Argentina, said it supported the latest offer made on Monday. The group said it holds over 25% of all of seven series of YPF notes involved.

“Through these amendments, the Exchange Offer and the underlying commercial terms have been significantly improved, bringing the Exchange Offer in-line with market standards,” the second group said in a statement.

“Any further improvements look difficult to achieve due to the combination of timing constraints and the existing capital controls in Argentina.”

The 2025 issue added under a cent to trade at 82.43 cents on the dollar according to Refinitiv data. The 2027 and 2029 issues were unchanged on the day. The bond maturing next month was little changed as well, according to Refinitiv data.

YPF’s U.S.-listed shares were down over 2%. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Cynthia Osterman)