Pluna-Gate: Jiménez de Aréchaga led an unprecedented litigation to this high profile bankruptcy

On December 20, 2016, our firm concluded a four-year process where it led the negotiations of an agreement for the liquidation of the national airline Pluna, by and large the most important bankruptcy proceeding in Uruguayan history.

After this highly publicized bankruptcy was declared on July 2012, our firm represented the private creditors with the highest claims, acting through non-equity partner Nicolás Brause.

For the recovery of these claims, highly unlikely at the outset, several judicial proceedings were commenced for the recovery of assets for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate (the most important of which were the seven Bombardier aircrafts thereafter sold for US$ 70 million), as well as claims against the former partners and private and public managers of the company. Undoubtedly the success in these claims was the cornerstone in the negotiations that ensued in this “Pluna-gate”, as the press put it.

In this sense, with the goal of aligning interests to pursue this complex negotiation, our firm and the Liga de Defensa Comercial (an association that represents commercial companies in Uruguay) promoted the formation of a Creditors’ Committee that represented more than US$ 40 million in claims. Said committee appointed Nicolás Brause from our firm, and Fernando Cabrera from the Liga de Defensa Comercial, as its delegates to represent them in this complex negotiation. They set the ambitious goal of recovering 100% of the verified claims, something which is unprecedented in our Bankruptcy Law. The negotiation involved the bankruptcy trustee, several governmental entities, the former employees of the airline, a senior secured creditor whose loan was secured by the government of Uruguay (Scotiabank), and the former partners and managers of the airline.

This arduous negotiation process entailed a conciliation effort with no precedents. Led by our firm, the process concluded on November 2016 when an agreement was submitted before the Bankruptcy Court which was signed by all creditors, and was approved by the court on December 20, 2016. With this approval the distribution of assets to recover 100% of the claim was implemented, on terms which were widely covered by the press.

“This is a historic milestone for our country”, Nicolás Brause commented to the press, “after four intense years, we were able to align all interests behind this agreement in such a complex bankruptcy as was Pluna’s”.

In this way, with full recovery of the claims pursuant to our Bankruptcy Law, the Pluna-gate and the myriad of litigation it spurred had a happy ending.