Ankura Consulting, LLC, an independent global expert and advisory services firm, announced that on March 15, 2022, the Plan of Adjustment for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico went effective. On January 18, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Hon. Laura Taylor Swain approved the Plan of Adjustment that set the restructuring terms for approximately $34 billion of debt, which is the largest restructuring of municipal debt in U.S. history. The Plan of Adjustment paves the way for Puerto Rico to exit from bankruptcy with a stable and sustainable balance sheet.
Through the implementation of the Plan of Adjustment, Puerto Rico reduces the total amount of central government debt from $34 billion to $7.4 billion; cuts Puerto Rico's maximum annual debt service payments from a maximum of $4.2 billion to $1.15 billion; and lowers per capita debt by 86%.
"This is a great collective achievement for Puerto Rico, thanks to the fiscal and economic team of the Government, the Legislature, the Financial Oversight and Management Board (Oversight Board), and all those who have worked over the past five years to get to this historic moment," said Fernando Batlle, Ankura's Chairman of Latin America, who is leading all aspects of Ankura's advisory work for the Government. He continued, "The consummation of the Commonwealth Plan of Adjustment is the 'reset' button for Puerto Rico and starts a new era of fiscal stability with new opportunities to shape a successful, modern economy."
Philip Gund, Global Leader of Ankura's Turnaround & Restructuring practice, commented, "Fernando and the Ankura team worked collaboratively with the Government, the Fiscal Oversight Board and its constituencies and advisors while keeping the best interests of the Commonwealth at the forefront of the restructuring."
In addition to the rightsizing of the Commonwealth's balance sheet, the Plan of Adjustment also includes elements that promote and ensure that the Commonwealth maintains fiscally responsible policies and avoids the mistakes of the past, including: the establishment of debt management guidelines that govern future public indebtedness and the establishment and funding of a pension reserve trust to meet future pension obligations.
Kevin Lavin, CEO of Ankura
The Plan of Adjustment puts Puerto Rico on a path to grow again the Island's economy, encouraging investment by restoring investors' confidence in Puerto Rico, which in turn will promote economic development and job creation." He continued, "We are honored to have been involved in this historic moment, and as our team continues to advise the Government in other initiatives, our goal will continue to be the betterment of the Commonwealth and its people."
Ankura Consulting Group, LLC is an independent global expert services and advisory firm that delivers services and end-to-end solutions to help clients at critical inflection points related to change, risk, disputes, finance, performance, distress, and transformation. The Ankura team consists of more than 1,700 professionals serving 3000+ clients across 55 countries who are leaders in their respective fields and areas of expertise. Collaborative lateral thinking, hard-earned experience, expertise, and multidisciplinary capabilities drive results and Ankura is unrivaled in its ability to assist clients to Protect, Create and Recover Value.