HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty Corp. and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., two bond insurance subsidiaries of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) (together with their parent, Assured Guaranty), filed an Adversary Complaint against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (Oversight Board), Puerto Rico governor Hon. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and others, in which Assured Guaranty asserts the Oversight Board developed and approved a Revised Fiscal Plan that, on its face, violates the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”) and the United States Constitution.
“As a municipal bond insurer, Assured Guaranty has a long-term involvement in the bonds used to fund many Puerto Rico projects and shares a strong interest in the Commonwealth’s economic recovery. For months, we have been asking that the Commonwealth and Oversight Board open constructive negotiations with creditors and stakeholders, but they have instead produced an unlawful fiscal plan, without creditor input, indicating they would rather litigate than engage in meaningful negotiations to develop a realistic solution,” said Assured Guaranty President and CEO Dominic Frederico. The Revised Fiscal Plan allocates $1.5 billion for litigation and related expenses without providing for debt service.
The Revised Fiscal Plan’s violations include:
- failure to respect the relative lawful priorities and lawful liens established by the constitution, laws, and agreements of the Commonwealth, as required by PROMESA §201(b)(1)(N);
- failure to ensure that assets, funds, or resources of an agency are not transferred to or otherwise used for the benefit of other agencies, instrumentalities, or the Commonwealth, as required by PROMESA § 201(b)(1)(M);
- failure to identify expenses for essential public services, as required by PROMESA § 201(b)(1)(B);
- failure to comply with Sections 303 and 928 of PROMESA; and
- failure to comply with the Contracts, Takings and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution.
Because of these clear violations, Assured Guaranty is seeking a judgment declaring that the Revised Fiscal Plan is unlawful and unconstitutional, and that the Oversight Board cannot use it as the basis for proposing a plan of adjustment in the pending Title III case for the Commonwealth. Review of the Revised Fiscal Plan at this juncture is necessary to prevent the ongoing violations of PROMESA and the United States Constitution. To the extent necessary, the Court should grant complementary injunctive relief.
Puerto Rico’s long-term economic sustainability depends on future investment and access to capital markets, and investors will not be willing to make those investments if previous agreements are not honored. The latest budget estimates show that ample funds are available for both essential public services and debt repayment.
Assured Guaranty believes Puerto Rico’s recovery is only possible with the creation of fiscal plans that:
- Comply with PROMESA and the constitutions and laws of Puerto Rico and the United States;
- Make possible future capital market access by reassuring investors;
- And, most importantly, assure a sustainable economic future for the people of Puerto Rico.
“Assured Guaranty remains willing and ready to engage in constructive negotiations with the Commonwealth, the Oversight Board and other creditors and stakeholders to achieve a consensual agreement that gives Puerto Rico a path to long-term economic health,” said Mr. Frederico.
The Adversary Complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. Other defendants named in the suit are the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority; Gerardo Portela Franco and Hon. Raúl Maldonado Gautier.
About Assured Guaranty
Assured Guaranty helps provide funding for public projects such as the construction of hospitals, schools, roads and bridges in Puerto Rico and in cities and communities across America with the goal of helping municipal governments gain access to funding for essential public projects at affordable interest rates.
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO) Bermuda-based holding company. Its operating subsidiaries provide credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets. More information on Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.
The information set out above contains forward-looking statements that reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those resulting from Assured Guaranty's inability to execute its strategies, including its loss mitigation and risk remediation strategies, and negative developments that may impact Assured Guaranty's liquidity and capital, and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management's response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in Assured Guaranty’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of May 23, 2018. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.