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September 30, 2021

Marathon Asset Management purchases distressed developer Evergrande’s debt

By Verdict Staff

Marathon Asset Management is reportedly purchasing debt issued by Chinese developer Evergrande, which is on the brink of default with $305bn debt.

Marathon co-founder and CEO Bruce Richards told Reuters that the firm bought debt issued by China Evergrande Group this week.

The distressed-debt specialist plans to accumulate more of Evergrande’s debt at the current low prices.

Richard expects Evergrande to be restructured eventually, even if the company manages to pay off some of its debts in the short term.

He also said that the Chinese developer is likely to pay homebuyers, suppliers and Chinese bondholders before offshore investors.

New York-based Marathon has investments across corporate bonds and loans, structured credit, real estate and emerging markets.

Co-founded by Richard and chief investment officer Louis Hanover, the firm has $23bn in assets and 160 employees globally.

Meanwhile, Evergrande missed to pay its second bond interest worth $47.5m this week.

The debt-ridden developer managed to make partial payments to some of its onshore investors, Reuters reported citing two Evergrande bondholders.

While it is taking care of onshore liabilities, Evergrande is yet to state how it plans to manage the offshore investors.

A slew of global companies, including asset managers BlackRock, BlueBay, Ashmore, and UBS, are exposed to Evergrande.

This week, FT reported that Swiss investment giant Credit Suisse scrapped its complete exposure to the developer late last year.

Meanwhile, alternative asset manager Investcorp said it will remain focused on its expansion plans in China.

Investcorp executive chairman Mohammed Alardhi in an interview to Bloomberg said that the Evergrande crisis will extend new opportunities for the firm to propel its expansion plans in Asia.

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