TCRLA_Public/190417.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                 L A T I N   A M E R I C A

          Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 77





AVIANCA BRASIL: Still Selling Tickets on Routes it Plans to Cancel
COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA: S&P Raises Rating to B- on Debt Refinancing


ECUADOR: Jilted Assange as U.S. Ties Strengthens


JAMAICA: PM Holness Wants Investors to Tap Into Tourism Industry


PESQUERA EXALMAR: S&P Raises ICR to 'B' on Debt Refinancing

P U E R T O   R I C O

ORGANIC POWER: Seeks to Hire Godreau & Gonzalez as Legal Counsel
ORGANIC POWER: Voluntary Chapter 11 Case Summary


VENEZUELA: To Reopen Border With Brazil As Soon As Possible

                           - - - - -


S&P Global Ratings, on April 15, 2019, downwardly revised
Inversiones y Representaciones S.A.'s (IRSA) stand-alone credit
profile (SACP) to 'b+' from 'bb-'. At the same time, it kept IRSA's
subsidiary, IRSA Propiedades Comerciales S.A.'s (IRCP) SACP at

S&P's also affirmed its 'B' issuer credit and issue-level ratings
on IRSA and IRCP.

IRSA's weaker financial risk profile is indicated by worsening
credit metrics, mainly due to the Argentine peso's depreciation,
Argentina's inflation rate, and poor GDP growth. Although the
deprecation of the peso helps the office and hotel business segment
because fees are denominated in dollars, it hurts leverage and
credit metrics because almost 100% of IRSA's financial obligations
are dollar-denominated. Peso depreciation increases the company's
debt burden, so its cash generation has fallen amid higher interest
costs. Additionally, higher inflation and lower consumption reduce
shopping mall traffic, while negatively affecting tenant sales. In
this context, S&P expects its adjusted EBITDA interest coverage
(without netting interest income) at IRSA's level to underperform
its previous expectations, with coverage around 1.6x versus
previous expectation of 2.0x in 2019 and 2020.

S&P said, "We now view IRSA's liquidity as more pressured, while
IRCP's position remains more comfortable. Although we expect IRSA
to successfully refinance its September 2019 bond maturity for
around $184 million, its cash flow generation has become weaker
against its overall short-term financial obligations. However, we
acknowledge that high-quality real estate assets and investments in
the U.S. could provide financial flexibility if the company sells
them, as it's done in the past.

"We expect IRSA to maintain stable debt levels in 2019 and 2020
amid its considerable investment plan, which includes expanding
Alto Palermo, the company's flagship mall; and constructing the
Catalinas office buildings. In the next 12 to 18 months, the new
projects should mitigate debt levels by providing stronger cash
flow generation once they're completed and fully running.

"We view IRSA's business as resilient: it's the leading shopping
mall operator in Argentina, with high-quality and strategic
locations of assets, which should allow it to maintain occupancy
rates of above 90%. Additionally, its long-term contracts with
commercial and office property tenants include revenues linked to
tenants sales and step-ups in rental fees that allow hedging
against inflation (shopping malls) and foreign-exchange variation
(offices). These factors increase the company's cash flow
predictability and mitigate its limited geographic

"We assess IRCP's SACP as 'bb', while IRSA's is 'b+', given the
latter's larger debt amount. However, we cap our ratings on both
companies at the sovereign rating on Argentina (B/Stable/B),
because in our view, the companies are not sufficiently insulated
from the country to merit a higher rating."


AVIANCA BRASIL: Still Selling Tickets on Routes it Plans to Cancel
Marcelo Rochabrun at Reuters, citing a letter, reports that
struggling Brazilian airline Avianca Brasil had told regulators
that it was permanently cancelling several routes despite
continuing to sell tickets for them on its website.

The airline, which has been fighting aircraft lessors in bankruptcy
court, told civil aviation regulator ANAC in the letter sent that
it was ending 48 flight frequencies -- around a quarter of its
capacity -- due to a shrinking fleet, according to Reuters.

The letter, which has not previously been reported, was the
strongest sign yet of the operational impact of a bankruptcy
process started in December by Brazil's fourth-largest airline, the
report relays.

The changes were due to take effect, according to the letter, but
Avianca Brasil's website showed it was still selling tickets for
several of the routes that it had told ANAC it would discontinue,
the report notes.

For example, Avianca Brasil said in the letter it would end flights
between international airports serving the capitals of Sao Paulo
and Minas Gerais states but its website was still selling two daily
frequencies each way as far out as March 2020, the report

A representative for Avianca Brasil told Reuters the letter to ANAC
was just a preliminary plan and that it was working hard to
reaccomodate its flights to affect the fewest passengers possible.

Facing the imminent repossession of nearly a third of its fleet,
the airline issued a news release saying some flights would be
canceled on a case-by-case basis, starting with 179 flights from
April 16 to 24.

Avianca Brasil canceled an additional 150 flights from April 11 to
April 13 but did not made public its plans for those routes

Currently, the company representative said Avianca Brasil is
operating a fleet of 26 planes compared to 36 just a week ago, the
report notes.

ANAC said in a statement to Reuters that Avianca Brasil is required
to "broadcast broadly its canceled and altered" flights and said
that so far, the agency has not registered any violations.

ANAC has already signaled it is concerned about Avianca Brasil's
ability to keep its flight schedule.

In court documents filed, it said there was "a real and
considerable risk that (Avianca Brasil) would not honor" its ticket
sales, affecting "hundreds of thousands" of travelers, the report

The regulator issued a press release saying it had banned Avianca
Brasil from selling tickets on "affected routes," without
specifying which routes or for how long, the report notes.

Canceled flights entail additional costs for the struggling
carrier, which has to either reimburse or re-accommodate affected
passengers, the report discloses.  In court papers, Avianca Brasil
described the financial toll of canceled flights as "brutal," the
report notes.

The airline is already running low on cash, the report relays.  It
missed its payroll in recent weeks and several Brazilian airports
now only allow its flights if they receive payment in advance, the
report says.

The carrier is paying its day-to-day expenses largely with
short-term loans from two of its competitors, who hope to end up
with some of Avianca Brasil's airport slots -- the coveted takeoff
and landing rights at crowded terminals, the report notes.

The carrier's assets, consisting mainly of its slots, are expected
to be auctioned in May as part of the bankruptcy process, the
report discloses.

LATAM Airlines Group and Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes have
already agreed to bid at least $70 million each for different sets
of slots, the report adds.

                     About Avianca Brasil

Avianca Brazil, officially Oceanair Linhas Aereas S/A, is a
Brazilian airline based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It operates passenger
services from more than 20 destinations.  It is hailed as the
fourth largest airline in Brazil.  Synergy Group is the parent
company of Avianca Brazil.

On December 10, 2018, Avianca Brazil filed for bankruptcy when
three lessors took a move to gain possession of 30% of the
airline's 50 all-Airbus fleet.  The airline further blamed high
fuel prices and a strong dollar for its troubles.  The airline
noted at that time that flights won't be affected.

COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA: S&P Raises Rating to B- on Debt Refinancing
S&P Global, on April 12, 2019, raised its global and national scale
ratings on Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) to 'B-' from 'CCC+'
and to 'brBBB+' from 'brBB+', respectively. At the same time, S&P
raised its issue-level ratings on CSN Islands XI Corp., CSN Islands
XII Corp., and CSN Resources S.A.'s senior unsecured notes to 'B-'
from 'CCC+'. S&P also removed the ratings from CreditWatch with
positive implications, where it placed them on April 5, 2019. The
issue-level ratings remain at the same level as the long-term
issuer credit rating, reflecting the holding company's
unconditional guarantee and the recovery rating of '4', given the
expected average recovery of 40% (rounded estimate).

The upgrade reflects S&P's view of improved overall credit profile
following the company's successful issuance of a $600 million bond
and a $400 million add-on to its 2023 bond, which the company will
mostly use to tender the outstanding amounts of its 2019 and 2020
bonds. This, coupled with the improving operating performance and
the already announced bilateral debt refinancing with Brazilian
banks, the sale of CSN LLC in the U.S., and the prepayment
transaction with Glencore, will cover most of the company's
liquidity gap for the next 24 months.

The positive outlook reflects the potential further improvement in
CSN's creditworthiness stemming from its stronger cash flows
following the gradual recovery in the domestic steel market volumes
and international prices that allow price adjustments, as well as
the recent spike in iron ore prices. The company also announced
that it could sell its German operations and preferred shares in
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (B/Positive/--). These
actions, which in combination with the higher cash generation, will
allow CSN to deleverage over the next few years, although the still
high debt and interest burden remain an issue.

However, an upgrade would only be possible if the company maintains
a track record of more conservative financial policies, including
shareholder remuneration and investments, focus on deleveraging,
and if CSN addresses the amortization schedules at its
holding-company level without jeopardizing its own balance sheet.

Despite the substantial improvement following with the recent bond
issuance, S&P continues to view CSN's liquidity as less than
adequate. Sources over uses of cash for the next 24 months are
evenly matched, due to the improving operating performance, asset
sales, and debt refinancing, including the new bond issuances
totaling $1 billion.


ECUADOR: Jilted Assange as U.S. Ties Strengthens
EFE News, citing Dow Jones Newswires, reports that Ecuador's
diplomatic protection of Julian Assange once allowed the small
Andean nation's leftist government to antagonize its United States
foe and argue that it was defending free speech, while cracking
down on the press at home.

But after seven years and a new government, that relationship
frayed, as President Lenin Moreno sought to improve Ecuador's
relations with the US, according to EFE News.


JAMAICA: PM Holness Wants Investors to Tap Into Tourism Industry
RJR News reports that Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness wants
more investors to tap into development opportunities in Jamaica,
particularly in the tourism industry.

Mr. Holness said the trajectory of the value of the industry is
going to take off rapidly, according to RJR News.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Amaterra Group's
groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an 800-room resort
in Stewart Castle, Trelawny, the report notes.

This will be followed by another 400 rooms in the second phase and
over time will see an estimated 8,000 hotel rooms to be constructed
on the 1,000-acre property, the report adds.

Mr. Holness also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to create a
culture of inclusion in the industry so that more Jamaicans will
feel they benefit from the tourism industry, the report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Sept.
27, 2018, S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Jamaica to
positive from stable. At the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed
its 'B' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign
credit ratings, and its 'B+' transfer and convertibility assessment
on the country.


PESQUERA EXALMAR: S&P Raises ICR to 'B' on Debt Refinancing
S&P Global Ratings, on April 15, 2019, raised its global scale
issuer credit and issue-level ratings on Peru-based fishing company
Pesquera Exalmar S.A.A. (Exalmar) to 'B' from 'B-' and removed them
from CreditWatch, where it placed them with positive implications
on Jan. 16, 2019.

After refinancing its senior unsecured notes for $109 million due
2020, Exalmar has improved sharply its financial risk profile,
capital structure, and liquidity position with a debt maturity
profile above 3.5 years on a pro forma basis. Exalmar used a $110
million five-year syndicated loan and cash on hand to refinance the
senior unsecured notes due 2020 and repay a $19 million syndicated
loan. S&P believes the new syndicated loan will help the company
reduce its debt at a faster pace than it had previously expected,
given the manageable amortizations that the company would face for
this loan.

The upgrade also reflects the company's better-than-expected
operating and financial performance during the past 12 months due
to a significant recovery in the fishing quotas in Peru since 2017
and higher purchases from third parties. The company posted EBITDA
margins of around 35%, a debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 3.0x, and an
EBITDA interest coverage of 4.4x as of Dec. 31, 2018. Given the
refinancing and a robust EBITDA, S&P forecasts these metrics below
4.0x and above 3.0x, respectively, in the next 12 months.

S&P said, "Our rating on Exalmar continues to reflect its
vulnerability to external factors such as weather conditions, the
start of fishing seasons, and the quota approval process by
Peruvian authorities. In addition, given that Exalmar has a limited
scale of operations and is heavily dependent on production volumes
along the Peruvian coast, we believe the company has limited
flexibility to withstand adverse dynamics beyond its control that
could impair its performance. Exalmar is the third-largest producer
of fishmeal and fish oil in Peru, with a 15% participation of the
total biomass determined by the Institute of the Peruvian Sea
(IMARPE); comprised of an anchovy extraction quota of 7.77% and
third-party share of 7.23%. The company's current processing
capacity and ability to buy third-party catch have increased its
production, revenue, and EBITDA, strengthening its profitability in
the past few quarters. We expect the company's EBITDA margins to
remain between 25% and 30% in the next 12 months."

P U E R T O   R I C O

ORGANIC POWER: Seeks to Hire Godreau & Gonzalez as Legal Counsel
Organic Power, LLC, seeks approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the District of Puerto Rico to hire Godreau & Gonzalez Law, LLC
as its legal counsel.

The firm will assist the Debtor in the preparation of its plan of
reorganization, represent the Debtor in adversary proceedings and
provide other legal services in connection with its Chapter 11

The firm will charge these fees:

     Partners       $175
     Associates     $125

Rafael Gonzalez Valiente, Esq., at Godreau & Gonzalez, disclosed
court filings that he and other employees of his firm are
"disinterested" as defined in Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy

Godreau & Gonzalez can be reached through:

     Rafael Gonzalez Valiente, Esq.
     Godreau & Gonzalez Law, LLC  
     P.O. Box 9024176      
     San Juan, PR 00902-4176      
     Tel: (787)726-0077      

                      About Organic Power

Organic Power LLC -- -- is a supplier of
renewable energy and a provider of environmentally sustainable food
waste recycling services based in Puerto Rico.  It offers food
processing companies, restaurants, pharmaceuticals and retail
outlets an alternative to landfill disposal.

Organic Power sought protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy
Code (Bankr. D. P.R. Case No. 19-01789) on April 1, 2019.  At the
time of the filing, the Debtor estimated assets and estimated
liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million.

Aimee I. Lopez Pabon, Esq. of Godreau & Gonzalez LLC has been
tapped as counsel for the Debtor.

ORGANIC POWER: Voluntary Chapter 11 Case Summary
Debtor: Organic Power LLC
        267 Sierra Morena Street
        PM 632
        San Juan, PR 00926

Business Description: Organic Power LLC --
             -- is a supplier of
                      renewable energy and a provider of
                      environmentally sustainable food waste
                      recycling services based in Puerto Rico.
                      Organic Power offers food processing
                      companies, restaurants, pharmaceuticals and
                      retail outlets an alternative to landfill
                      disposal; a low cost & environmentally
                      friendly recycling option.

Chapter 11 Petition Date: April 1, 2019

Court: United States Bankruptcy Court
       District of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan)

Case No.: 19-01789

Debtor's Counsel: Aimee I. Lopez Pabon, Esq.
                  GODREAU & GONZALEZ, LLC
                  PO BOX 9024176
                  San Juan, PR 00902
                  Tel: 787-726-0077

Estimated Assets: $10 million to $50 million

Estimated Liabilities: $10 million to $50 million

The petition was signed by Miguel E. Perez, president.

The Debtor failed to include in the petition a list of its 20
largest unsecured creditors.

A full-text copy of the petition is available for free at:



VENEZUELA: To Reopen Border With Brazil As Soon As Possible
EFE News reports that the Venezuelan government is working to
reopen the border crossings with Brazil, which have been closed
since February, as quickly as possible, the foreign minister said.

Jorge Arreaza said that the government of embattled president
Nicolas Maduro had agreed to look into reopening the border points
with Brazil, which Venezuela blocked after tons of humanitarian aid
was provided by the international community, including the United
States, according to EFE News.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America, S&P
Global Ratings in May 2018 removed its long- and short-term local
currency sovereign credit ratings on Venezuela from CreditWatch
with negative implications and affirmed them at 'CCC-/C'. The
outlook on the long-term local currency rating is negative. At the
same time, S&P affirmed its 'SD/D' long- and short-term foreign
currency sovereign credit ratings on Venezuela.  S&P's transfer and
convertibility assessment remains at 'CC'.


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.

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