REFILE-Mexico's Oceanografia in payment extension talks
By Joan Magee
NEW YORK, Feb 18 - Troubled Mexican oil services company Oceanografia, which is at the center of a corruption inquiry, is still trying to negotiate a 60-day extension to the grace period for a coupon payment on its 2015 bonds that expired last Friday, the company's head of investor relations told IFR on Tuesday.
Jorge Betancourt said the outcome of the delicate negotiations could be known as early as Wednesday morning.
The company is appealing a 21-month suspension from new government contracts amid an anti-corruption investigation into what are said to be "irregularities" in its contracts with state-owned petroleum company Pemex.
The suspension was announced last week.
Oceanografia has said it will sell assets in order to make the overdue payment.
"The banks froze its credit lines, so the company doesn't have the cash available right now," said an analyst who covers the company. "But they've expressed that they're trying to solve this."
One distressed debt investor who said he had off-loaded his Oceanografia holdings told IFR: "I think they're in big trouble if this sticks and they can't get government contracts." Continuación...