Telecom Argentina Stet - France Telecom S.A. (TEO)

TEO » Topics » Debtors Accounting for a Modification or an Exchange of Debt Instruments in accordance with SFAS 15

This excerpt taken from the TEO 20-F filed Jun 30, 2006.
Debtors Accounting for a Modification or an Exchange of Debt Instruments in accordance with SFAS 15”, to assess whether the Debt Restructurings represented troubled debt restructurings. Following the EITF 02-04 guidance, the entities concluded that the Debt Restructurings were in fact troubled debt restructurings since (i) the entities were in financial difficulties and (ii) creditors had granted them a concession. The concessions resulted primarily from the partial discount on principal and accrued interest, extension of maturity and full forgiveness of penalty interest. Accordingly, under US GAAP, the Debt Restructurings were accounted for as (i) a full settlement of certain outstanding loans with cash and (ii) a combination of a partial debt settlement and a continuation of debt with modified terms.

For those outstanding loans which were fully settled, there was no difference in measurement basis between Argentine GAAP and US GAAP. Under both Argentine GAAP and US GAAP the gain on debt restructuring was measured by the excess of the carrying amount of the payables over the cash surrendered.

For those outstanding loans which were restructured by a partial cash settlement and the issuance of new debt instruments with modified terms, SFAS No.15 required an assessment of the total future cash payments specified by the new terms of the debt, including principal, and interest (and contingent payment, if applicable) on a payable-by-payable basis. Under SFAS No.15, no gain on restructuring is recognized unless the remaining carrying amount of the debt exceeds the total future cash payments specified by the new terms.

Accordingly, for those restructured loans where their carrying value did not exceed the total future cash payments specified by the terms of the new instruments, no gain was recognized under US GAAP as of the date of the Debt Restructurings. The carrying values of the loans are being reduced as payments are made. Interest expense is computed as the discount rate that equated the present value of the future cash payments specified by the new debt with the carrying amount of the original loans.

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15.          Differences between Argentine GAAP and US GAAP (Continued)

On the other hand, for those restructured loans where their total future cash payments specified by the new terms were less than the respective carrying amounts, then the carrying amounts were reduced to an amount equal to the total future cash payments specified by the new terms, and a gain on restructuring was recognized under US GAAP equal to the amount of the reduction. Thereafter, all cash payments under the new terms are accounted for as reductions of the carrying amount of the payables and no interest expense is recognized.

In summary, the US GAAP reconciling item reflects the (a) reversal of the loss on accretion recognized under Argentine GAAP, (b) reversal of a portion of gain on restructuring recognized under Argentine GAAP for those outstanding loans restructured by a partial cash settlement and the issuance of new debt instruments with modified terms, (c) reversal of the interest expense computed under Argentine GAAP and (d) the computation of the interest expense under US GAAP as described above.

The US GAAP reconciling item for the Debt Restructurings is comprised as follows:

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