Country Garden’s offshore bondholders pick Kirkland for debt revamp talks – source

HONG KONG (Reuters)PROPERTY/DEBT-COUNTRYGARDEN – A major group of Country Garden offshore creditors has appointed Kirkland & Ellis LLP as the legal adviser, a source familiar with the matter said, in a move towards discussing debt repayment options with the defaulted Chinese developer.

Country Garden has been working on a plan to restructure its $11 billion offshore bonds after it missed a coupon repayment in October, becoming one of the biggest Chinese developers that have defaulted on its offshore debt.

The developer’s offshore bondholders group, which has hired Kirkland, had appointed PJT Partners as a financial adviser to discuss repayment plans with the company last year, Reuters reported in October.

The source declined to be named as the talks were private.

Country Garden and Kirkland did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bloomberg reported the appointment of Kirkland earlier on Monday. The report also said that Country Garden’s financial advisers, Houlihan Lokey Inc and China International Capital Corp, were no longer working for the developer.

Country Garden last Tuesday said that it had appointed KPMG Advisory (China) Ltd as its principal financial adviser for its offshore debt restructuring. The source said Houlihan Lokey had been replaced by KPMG.

Houlihan Lokey, CICC and PJT also did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Xie Yu, Editing by Louise Heavens)