Clifford Chance advises bondholders pursuing unpaid Ukrainian bond coupon

Clifford Chance partner Jared Grubb is advising a group of bondholders seeking $2m from Ukrainian bank VAB Bank after it failed to pay out a coupon due to new Ukrainian foreign currency restrictions.

The coupon was due to be paid out on 14 September but according to press reports the bank has struggled to purchase foreign currency due to limitations on foreign currency transactions.

The $2m coupon on $125m of loans is paid out quarterly and due to mature in June 2019. However the bank has been struggling with the new rules and is currently attempting to accumulate enough currency to repay the coupon.

Grubb is advising a range of financial institutions and asset managers seeking repayment of the outstanding notes. VAB Bank was put on review for a downgrade by Moody’s last month following the agency’s action on 12 Ukrainian banks in April, when it also downgraded the government bond rating to Caa3 (negative) from Caa2 (negative).

VAB’s long-term local currency deposit rating was downgraded from Caa2 to Caa3 and its long-term foreign-currency deposit rating was downgraded to Ca from Caa3.  

Grubb moved to Clifford Chance’s Moscow office from CMS Cameron McKenna in 2007 (26 July 2007). Two years later he relocated to Kiev to build up the office’s banking capabilities and was named Kiev managing partner when Nick Fletcher moved back to Warsaw months later (19 August 2009).

The partner has advised Deutsche Bank, Sberbank of Russia and Gazprombank among others on a range of heavyweight refinancings. 

Clifford Chance advised on a Ukranian bond issue in 2012 when it fielded London-based US securities partner Robert Trefny to advise the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on a $2bn (£1.3bn) international bond offering (30 July 2012).