It may be time for investors to kiss Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) goodbye. For many, the farewell will be far from teary. The oil giant launched a tender offer early last week to retire roughly US$2.6 billion in export-backed notes issued via PDVA Finance, paper that plunged from investment grade to high yield over the last few years (see table, p. 20). The premium, most say, is juicy enough to entice buyside away from this state-owned company that has lost a lot of friends since the Chavez administration began squeezing the government harness.
"We view the deal positively; they're paying a significant premium," said Peter Marber, president of The Atlantic Funds, which has US$650 million in emerging-market debt in its portfolio, including PDVSA Finance. "For holders, it's a pretty fair offer."