Argentina’s TGS Said to Plan $374 Million Bond Swap Before May

Transportadora de Gas del Sur SA, Argentina’s largest gas transporter, plans to offer holders of its 2017 bond a swap before May, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The company, based in Buenos Aires, received approval from the local securities regulator known as CNV on Jan. 3 to sell bonds worth $400 million, according to a regulatory filing. New bonds would be offered to holders of TGS notes due in 2017 before a 25 percent amortization payment on May 14, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

The maturity and coupon of the bonds are under discussion, the person said. The notes probably will mature in seven to 10 years while the coupon will include a premium over the 7.875 percent coupon in the 2017 notes, he said.

Mario Yaniskowski, a spokesman for TGS, declined to comment on the swap in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires.

The company is in talks with foreign institutions to handle the swap, the person said, without elaborating.

TGS also is in advanced talks with the government for its first rate increase since a 2002 utility price freeze following the country’s $95 billion debt default, the person said.