Brazilian company Lupatech said it was working to refinance and restructure in the wake of a default.
The company, which supplies equipment and services to oil and gas companies, defaulted on its 9.875 percent perpetual senior notes on April 10 when it failed to make a $6.8 million interest payment was due. It is not expected to be able the payment during the 30-day grace period allowed by its bond covenants.
Lupatech said it hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a financial adviser to assist with its restructuring effort. The company said it began a restructuring effort in 2011 and “hopes to present medium-term and long-term solutions as soon as possible.” It said it began selling non-core assets last year and has been working to integrate acquired operations.
The company made a host of strategic acquisitions beginning in 2007 and expected to be able to take advantage of a boom in oil exploration taking place in Latin America.
Standard & Poor’s lowered its corporate credit ratings on the company to D from SD and lowered the ratings on its perpetual bonds to D from CCC.
Lupatech is the third company to default this month, according to S&P. Netherlands-based CEVA Group defaulted on April 5 because of a missed payment. An unnamed Israeli telecom company also defaulted this past week for reasons not disclosed, according to an S&P report.
Of the 23 defaults recorded by the rating agency this year, missed interest payments were the leading cause, accounting for eight of the 23. Six defaults arose from bankruptcy filings, five from distressed exchanges, two were not disclosed, one failed to meet a bond buyback threshold and one defaulted after it failed to refinance or pay off a revolver that came due. Missed payments were the top reason for default last year, accounting for 25 issuers out of 84 total global defaults.
S&P expects the U.S. corporate trailing 12-month speculative-grade default rate to increase to 3.4 percent by the end of this year. It was 2.6 percent as of December 2012.