Whistlejacket Capital, Standard Chartered's (StanChart) $7 billion SIV, has successfully appealed against the legal action that sought out a $220 million repayment of debt owed to one of its creditors.
The decision could set a precedent for other SIV restructurings as it clarifies the priority of payments, and allows the receiver to hold cash pending a restructuring of the portfolio.
Three of the U.K.'s most senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, rejected an appeal by creditors for their debt to be repaid ahead of any restructuring of the SIV.
The judgment said that if a clause in the legal documents behind the Whistlejacket structure had been meant to define "the priority within a particular class [of creditors] on the basis of the chronological order of payment dates, it would have been more explicit."
In February, StanChart attempted to provide further liquidity support to the SIV, but a net asset value trigger forced receivership. According to market reports, one of the SIV's creditors was looking to be paid back the GBP220 million that fell due on the day receivers Deloitte & Touche decided to halt repayments.
The repayment would have been ahead of those made to investors who bought the same type of debt but which matured at a later date. The Bank of New York also appealed for repayment, but both appeals failed.
The receivers are very pleased with the outcome of the appeal. "We are delighted with the judgment," said Neville Kahn, one of the joint receivers and partner of Deloitte. "We are in the process of restructuring Whistlejacket and what was needed was clarification as to how to treat certain matters. This judgment provides us with clarity and the restructuring can now progress to the next stage of agreement between heads of terms. This judgment has been closely monitored by other SIVs which will also now be able to crack on with their restructurings."
Deloitte has been appointed to four SIVs since September 2007. The SIVs and their approximate level of creditors are SIV Portfolio (formally Cheyne Finance) - $7 billion, Whistlejacket Capital - $7 billion, Golden Key - $1.5 billion and Rhinebridge - $1 billion.
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