Liberia in $1.2 Billion Debt Reduction

April 19, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb represented the Republic of Liberia in its negotiations with private creditors to eliminate approximately $1.2 billion in outstanding private sector debt, at a discount of nearly 97 percent of its face value, the steepest discount ever negotiated on developing country commercial debt. The deal closed on April 14 after over two years of negotiations, with a payment of $38 million to extinguish 25 outstanding commercial facilities representing 97.5% of Liberia’s foreign commercial debt, one of the highest rates of participation in a sovereign debt buyback in the last several decades. The World Bank contributed half the money for the buyback through the International Development Association Debt Reduction Facility, and the United States, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom contributed the other half. The buyback was completed at no cost to the citizens of Liberia thanks to the financial support of the World Bank and other partners, including a Swiss foundation.