Wind Hellas debt restructure agitates shareholders

Shareholders of Greek carrier Wind Hellas have organized a committee to represent them and defend their interests as the telco prepares to restructure €3.2 billion of debt.

Earlier in the month, its parent company, Hellas II, said it had begun contacting strategic and financial investors about selling its assets as part of a massive debt restructure. It was anticipated that expressions of interest would be received during this week.
The committee, coordinated by Michael Hodges from boutique UK investment bank Aladdin Capital Management, will represent the interests of a group of investors that hold around €1.7 billion in subordinated bonds. The group has also appointed legal advisers Jones Day and financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"The committee has gained significant traction in recent days as increasing numbers of investors with interests in the subordinated notes have identified themselves and have expressed an interest in participating in the group," the group said in a statement.
According to the FT, they are also considering options to provide funding to the company as part of a restructuring.
Assets up for grabs include shares in Wind Hellas and another of its subsidiaries, Hellas IV, as well as intercompany debt.
Private equity firms TPG and Apax Partners were also rumored to be considering putting new cash into Wind Hellas.
The two buyout firms are former owners of the company, previously known as TIM Hellas, which they sold to Weather Investments, owned by Orascom founder Naguib Sawiris, for €3.4 billion, including some €2.9 billion debt, in 2007.
“Hellas II is committed to a transparent and fair process to assess alternatives and Hellas II welcomes any proposals or views from its creditors,” the company said. “Considering the current liquidity position of the business and its future obligations, the process and any related actions to address strategic alternatives are being conducted on an expedited basis.”
Wind Hellas also moved Hellas II's head office to London from Luxembourg last month.
TPG, formerly the Texas-Pacific Group, has been involved in some of the world’s biggest private equity deals, including the acquisition of utility TXU for $44 billion and Alltel Wireless for $27 billion. It was part of a syndicate that bought enterprise comms vendor Avaya for $8.2 billion in 2007.