Alsacia Bus Bonds Tumble to 9-Month Low After Adviser Hired

Bonds of Inversiones Alsacia SA, the largest bus operator in Santiago, slumped to a nine-month low after the company hired an adviser to help it consider strategic alternatives.

The bonds due in 2018 fell 8 cents to 58.75 cents on the dollar at 4:59 p.m. in Santiago, the lowest level since Sept. 6.

Alsacia said in a statement yesterday that it hired FTI Consulting Canada UTC to advise on operations and finances and on alternatives to improve long-term performance. It didn’t provide other details.

“Investors are interpreting this that some sort of debt restructuring is coming,” Mariela Anguiano, an analyst at BCP Securities, said in a phone interview today from Greenwich, Connecticut.

Alsacia is rated Caa2 by Moody’s Investors Service with a stable outlook and CC by Fitch Ratings, eight and 10 levels below investment grade.

The company is expecting a $15 million payment from the government and an increase of about 12 percent in the fare it receives per passenger transported, Anguiano said.

“The government has signaled its support for the Santiago transportation system,” Anguiano said. “This comes as a surprise. It’s hard to pinpoint what the company seeks with this announcement.”

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