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Borrower view: Vitro opens the window to a brighter future

Relics of a troubled past are soon going to be put behind Mexican glass company Vitro, which has just completed a total debt refinancing. Chloe Hayward speaks to CFO Alvaro Rodríguez about his company’s rocky past and shiny future.

Vitro fact box
CEO: Federico Sada
CFO: Alvaro Rodríguez
Core businesses: flat-glass and glass container businesses
Latest deal: January 2007 – $1 billion two-tranche deal to refinance holding company debt and clean up capital structure

For a company that was on the distressed debt list only three years ago, 2007 marks the end of an era. At the start of the year Mexican glass-making company Vitro issued the now second biggest high-yield corporate bond by an emerging markets borrower, raising $1 billion. The deal was the final part of a major debt refinancing initiative to improve Vitro’s debt capital structure.

"These guys are golden right now," says an enthused banker. Vitro is a classic turnaround credit story. From a debt-ridden struggling company, it has sold off non-core assets, honed its capital structure, cleaned up its books and focused on two core niche businesses – the flat glass and the glass container industries. The $1 billion deal marked the last step in Vitro’s turnaround as it refinanced all debt, except its 2013 bonds. The successful deal is seen as a ripe reward for the management’s hard work over the past two years.

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