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Borrower view, Juan Fernández: Grupo TMM's back from the depths

Grupo TMM, a Mexican transport and logistics company, is launching a $200 million securitization that will replace bonds that are relics of its troubled past. Juan Fernández, TMM’s CFO, tells Lawrence White how the firm stayed afloat and what he plans for the future.

TMM factbox
Chief executive: José Serrano
Chief financial officer: Juan Fernández
Business: transport and logistics
Launched: 1955
Debt strategy in brief: Launching $200 million securitization to replace all current outstanding bonds. Stockpiling cash for organic growth
Deal rating: not yet rated
Deal underwriter: Deutsche Bank

Jim Harper, an analyst at BCP Securities, confesses to mixed feelings when considering TMM’s first securitization. “On the one hand it looks like a good piece of liability management, and I’m pleased to see it happen, but on the other hand it means that they will have no bonds outstanding as of this year and I’m going to miss seeing Juan around.”

Juan Fernández, TMM’s charismatic CFO, will indeed be taking a break from the straight bond markets after the $200 million securitization replaces all of his firm’s existing debt. It would be an exciting time for any company. But for TMM the moment is sweetened by thoughts of what had gone before: dispute, lawsuits, plummeting bond values and default. Fernández assumed the role of CFO in 2004, after the worst of the trouble was over, but he is still happy to talk about the downward spiral and the painstaking process of recovery.

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