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Greenberg Traurig appoints power industry projects and restructuring chair

Global law firm Greenberg Traurig has made a high-level appointment in New York, poaching a seasoned lawyer from a competitor.

Corporate and restructuring lawyer Iskender “Alex” Catto (pictured), who previously practiced law at McDermott Will & Emery, joins Greenberg as chair of the firm’s power industry projects and restructuring group. Catto’s broad transactional practice encompasses advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, project financings, derivatives hedging transactions, and restructurings. Many of his clients are utilities and private equity players in the energy sector.

In a discussion with IFLR1000, Catto reflected on a number of trends in the energy industry. Many companies in the service sector are in the early to middle stages of restructurings. Catto sees a number of reasons why such companies underwent restructuring before other types.

“You really can’t have a hedge for services. There’s isn’t a simple product you can buy for a hedge. Whereas, on the production side, some of the companies are still reaping pricing that is better than they would realize today. It’s at least allowing the sector to survive longer than it would have. They would have needed to restructure much sooner had they not had a hedge in place,” Catto said.

“Whether the debt is rolling off, or it’s a redetermination of the reserves that they have that their loans are based on, those are two different things that can trigger the debt coming due. We’re still at the very early end of the exploration and production restructurings that are going to occur. But for the next year or two, there will be quite a bit of that,” he added.

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