PREPA debt deal mediators say they might still be needed despite inactivity
U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain
By THE STAR STAFF
While the team assigned to mediate a debt deal between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and its creditors acknowledged that it has not conducted any mediation at all, it sought to extend the mediation term to April.
“While there are no active negotiations involving the Mediation Team taking place at this time, the Mediation Team believes it is in the best interests of all stakeholders for the Mediation Team to remain available to assist the Mediation Parties,” the team of mediators said. “The Mediation Team expects that negotiations will resume in the coming weeks and may well continue for some time thereafter. Accordingly, the Mediation Team requests that this Court extend the Termination Date by three months, to and including April 28, 2023.”
Along with litigation on whether PREPA’s bonded debt is secured, Judge Laura Taylor Swain had ordered the parties to mediate their disputes, including the one involving PREPA’s bonded debt. The judge has said she expects an agreement to be confirmed by July.
On April 8, 2022, the court appointed a mediation team comprising Judge Shelley C. Chapman as lead mediator, and judges Robert D. Drain and Brendan L. Shannon to facilitate confidential negotiations among the mediation parties. The termination date of the mediation has been extended by the court multiple times. It is slated to end Jan. 31.
Swain said in an order that responses to the request must be filed by noon Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. The court will thereafter take the notice of the mediation team on submission.