The 15-year saga of Argentina's record debt default took a step closer to closure this week with an unusual court filing.
The standoff finally hit a turning point when Argentina ushered in its new president, Mauricio Macri, who vowed to resolve the bitter legal dispute. On February 5, following face-to-face negotiations between creditors and representatives from Macri's administration, Argentina unveiled publicly a tender offer to pay $6.5 billion—of the total $9 billion—owed to the leading debt holders.
As a result, the South American nation settled a nearly $1 billion obligation with hedge fund EM Limited, one of six major bondholders locked in a long running legal dispute with the country. According to a court document filed this week, the deal was sealed in a decidedly unorthodox way: It was drafted and signed by both parties on a sheet of loose-leaf paper.
"The parties agree to cooperate with each other in all respects to accomplish this settlement and to execute all papers necessary to accomplish this objective," the document read. It was signed by a representative for EM and Luis Caputo, Argentina's secretary of finance.
Also included in the document was an email between lawyers representing both Argentina and EM Limited, delineating the settlement amount as just in excess of $849 million.