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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

HMS Ferries is part of parent company’s bankruptcy petition, lawmaker says

House Majority Leader Ángel Matos García

By The Star Staff

Contrary to remarks made by government officials, HMS Ferries Puerto Rico, which provides ferry transportation on the island, will undergo a restructuring process as part of the bankruptcy filed earlier this month by its parent company.

House Majority Leader Ángel Matos García said bankruptcy documents from Hornblower Group show that HMS Ferries was included in the bankruptcy restructuring along with some 105 affiliates. Hornblower said in the bankruptcy petition that it has $500,000 to $1 billion in assets, but also $1 billion to $10 billion in liabilities.

“The bankruptcy by Hornblower, parent company of HMS Ferries, was filed on February 21 of this year,” Matos García said. “In the annexes, it can clearly be seen that HMS Ferries Puerto Rico was included as an entity that enters the bankruptcy restructuring process and that Banco Popular de Puerto Rico is one of the creditors affected by this bankruptcy.”

Public-Private Partnerships Authority (P3A) Director Fermín Fontanés Gómez had indicated that the bankruptcy would not affect ferry operations on the island and that everything remained normal on the offshore municipal islands.

“It is obvious that HMS Ferries had to notify P3A and ATI [the Integrated Transportation Authority] so that they could submit the default letter so that Puerto Rico’s rights are not affected by this bankruptcy,” the legislator said. “If the notification was not made, it is an act of negligence. Where is the [La] Fortaleza chief of staff, and what does she think about this scandal that involves state and federal funds?”

Matos García said he will be calling a public hearing in the coming days so that the people know the whole truth about “this bad business for the country.”

HMS Ferries signed a 23-year contract in 2021 to operate ferry routes between the main island and the offshore island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, as well as between Old San Juan and Cataño. The government agreed to pay $750 million.

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