Puerto Rico’s electric utility reached an agreement with insurance companies MBIA Inc. and Assured Guaranty Ltd. and bondholders to restructure its $8.2 billion of debt, marking a first step by the Caribbean island to reduce financial obligations that have left the government contending with a mounting fiscal crisis.
The deal brings together the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the largest U.S. public-power provider, insurers and others such as hedge funds that hold 70% of its debt, the agency, known as Prepa, said in a statement late Wednesday. Its obligations would be cut by more than $600 million, with investors taking losses of about 15% by exchanging their bonds for new securities. The transaction aims to free up cash so the utility can modernize plants. The pact requires that lawmakers approve the deal by Jan. 22.