On July 16 2001 the Argentine Commercial Court No. 15 ruled
on the opening of preventive proceedings (concurso
preventivo) to restructure over $900 million in debt of
the flag-carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas and the
appointment of receivers following a voluntary petition filed
by the company to avoid a declaration of bankruptcy.
Aerolíneas Argentinas is owned by the Spanish state
holding company SEPI, which has been negotiating with the
Argentine government over the airline's future.
The deadline for creditors to file claims to the receivers
is November 6 2001. The number of creditors to the company is
more than 6,700 and the debt to be rescheduled is approximately
$932 million. The court appointed ABN Amro Bank, YPF and
Pacific Aviation Holding as members of the creditors'
committee. During the preventive proceedings, the debtor
continues to manage its business under the supervision of the
receivers, but prior judicial consent is required for actions
taken out of the ordinary course of business.
Aerolíneas Argentinas was privatized in 1990 by the
Peronist president Carlos Menem. It was sold free of
liabilities to Iberia as the Argentine state assumed about $800
million in debts. The company has accumulated over $900 million
in debts and lost almost every asset, with only one plane
remaining in its fleet of the 30 it once owned. American
Airlines shared Aerolíneas management for some time.
Aerolíneas has suspended its international flights and
the crisis is threatening the jobs of its 6,500 employees. It
remains to be seen if any of the proposals recently submitted
to SEPI to purchase of Aerolíneas Argentinas is
accepted. A meeting of Aerolíneas's shareholders
scheduled to take place on July 23 2001 to decide on the future
of the company was adjorned to allow SEPI to evaluate all the
proposals made for the acquisition of the company.
Atilio Dell'Oro Maini