November 27, 2020

Citi Wired $900 Million In Clerical Error, They Will not Hand Money Again

Citi Wired $900 Million In 'Clerical Error', They Won't Hand Cash Back

Citi, the executive agent on the mortgage, was additionally named as a defendant within the lawsuit.

Even for Citigroup Inc., it was huge cash. On Wednesday, mortgage operations employees on the New York financial institution wired $900 million, seemingly on behalf of Revlon Inc., to lenders of the troubled cosmetics large managed by billionaire Ron Perelman.

It was a mistake for the ages — a “clerical error,” as Citigroup instructed lenders — that is now plunged the financial institution right into a battle between the Perelman empire and a corps of sharp-edged funding funds which have turn into its impatient collectors.

One financier concerned likened the shock fee to discovering a fortune on the sidewalk. And, as of late Friday, a number of hedge funds who declare Revlon was in default on the mortgage have been displaying no indicators that they will be giving Citigroup its a refund.

The wayward switch of practically a billion {dollars} seems to be one of many largest screw-ups on Wall Avenue in ages, and it is set tongues wagging in monetary markets. The query everyone seems to be asking: how may this occur?

A spokeswoman for Citi declined to remark. A consultant for Revlon mentioned in an emailed assertion that Revlon itself did not pay down the mortgage, or any portion of it.

“It is a billion-dollar clerical error,” mentioned Michael Stanton, a former restructuring and chapter adviser. “That is in all probability knocking round some very huge rooms at Citibank.”

Acceleration Demand

On the heart of the story is an more and more ugly battle between Revlon and a bunch of lenders who sued the cosmetics firm and demanded instant compensation of a time period mortgage that Revlon has coming due in 2023. Working with UMB Financial institution, the lenders are claiming that Revlon shifted some mental property rights that had been backing their mortgage into collateral for brand new debt.

The lenders, together with Brigade Capital Administration, Symphony Asset Administration and HPS Funding Companions, are in search of a court docket order forcing the return of the collateral, which incorporates model logos. Citi, the executive agent on the mortgage, was additionally named as a defendant within the lawsuit, though it was within the technique of resigning from the agent position.

Across the similar time the lawsuit was filed, the practically $900 million — an quantity equal to the total principal worth of the mortgage, plus accrued curiosity — landed within the lenders’ financial institution accounts, in line with folks aware of the matter. Now, Brigade, Symphony and HPS are amongst which can be refusing handy the money again, mentioned the folks, who requested to not be named discussing a personal matter.


Citi on Friday had but to obtain a majority of the funds again, although repayments continued to trickle in, the folks mentioned.

“That is what the buyers requested for — they needed their mortgage to be paid off,” mentioned Bloomberg Intelligence senior distressed debt analyst Phil Brendel. “Given their go well with is in opposition to Citibank as effectively, it is not clear why they’d hand the cash again.”

The fee was a very welcome shock contemplating that the mortgage trades for lower than 30 cents on the greenback, signaling that buyers have dim hopes of getting a full restoration below regular circumstances.

Citi on Friday had but to obtain a majority of the funds again, although repayments continued to trickle in, the folks mentioned. The financial institution has launched an inner investigation into the matter, one of many folks mentioned.

The mistaken fee was first reported by LevFin Insights.

Revlon mentioned it might struggle UMB’s “meritless” lawsuit and that the financial institution does not have standing to sue as a result of it is not the agent on the mortgage.

“This group of lenders has repeatedly resorted to baseless accusations in an try to counterpoint themselves and damage the corporate by blocking Revlon from exercising its contractual rights to safe the financing essential to execute our turnaround technique and navigate the Covid-19 disaster,” Revlon mentioned in an earlier assertion.

Revlon, managed by Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes, has struggled to stay related and stem falling gross sales amid competitors from Estee Lauder Cos. and a number of smaller corporations utilizing social media to lure clients. The cosmetics firm has been hit arduous by the pandemic and is in search of to transform its $three billion of borrowings.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)