Salinas Pliego's intense week: lawsuits with his investors abroad and with López Obrador

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This has been an intense week for the third richest man in Mexico. Ricardo Salinas Pliego suffered a cut in the credit rating of his telecommunications company, Total Play, on Wednesday. Just a couple of days before, the Mexican Government published a decree declaring its golf course a protected natural area. Regarding this and other issues that keep him in the headlines, the businessman has responded on social networks. On Wednesday afternoon, Fitch Ratings reduced the rating of Total Play's dollar bonds listed in the international market from B- to CCC+ , which implies that it went from being considered “highly speculative” to “with substantial credit risk.” The agency's statement points out that the decision was made after specialized media reported that the company had reached an agreement with a group of bondholders who own $213 million to extend the maturity from 2025 to 2028. This leaves the rest bondholders, excluded from the agreement, in a more vulnerable position if the company were to fall into insolvency. “Fitch views the private exchange in a negative way since it did not include an unconditional offer to all bondholders,” added the risk firm in your statement. “The $213.5 million private exchange reduces but does not eliminate refinancing risks. Total Play's financial flexibility is limited and it is still exposed to the risk of the remaining 361.5 million. Total Play expects to refinance $1 billion in additional bonds that mature next month. Total Play is not the only Grupo Salinas company in a credit mess. Salinas Pliego has refused to pay the interest on the debt that his television station, TV Azteca, has with investors in New York. A few days before, on Tuesday, the Federal Government published a decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation that declares a field golf course in Oaxaca, currently operated by Salinas Pliego through a concession, as a protected natural area. On the subject, Salinas Pliego said on social networks: “They said that… they are going to take away a golf course from me (which has never been mine) and that I will hand it over when the concession runs out. Get to work and stop attacking those of us who support you with our taxes.” The 68-year-old businessman is the seventh richest in Latin America according to Forbes magazine and has 1.7 million followers on his X account. The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has fought a payment of 26 billion euros in court. pesos in taxes owed by Grupo Salinas companies, which include the Elektra and Banco Azteca stores. The president assured on Thursday that his government had won the ruling in question, but it was appealed by the company. Subscribe here to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and receive all the key information on current events in this country

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