Detroit has reached a final settlement with its greatest opponent, bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc., this Monday, according to a lawyer for the city.
Under the deal, Syncora will recover roughly 14 percent of money owed, which they've long claimed totals more than $333 million. Syncora will receive two sets of notes from Detroit, a lease to control a tunnel to Canada, land near the tunnel, and the possibility of leasing and controlling a parking structure.
With this settlement, Syncora is fully exiting the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case , including any future appeals.
David Heiman of Jones Day, a lawyer for Detroit, said to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes in Monday’s hearing that both parties have “laid down their swords.”
While the agreement with Syncora is an important cleared hurdle for Detroit’s bankruptcy emergence, the city still faces creditor Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., who is seeking roughly $1.1 billion from the pension debt it insured.
On Monday, FGIC asked Judge Rhodes to suspend the trial until September 22 so the company can modify its approach in the wake of Syncora’s settlement. The trial is currently on hold since last week so Detroit and Syncora could finalize their deal.
Detroit’s Grand Bargain is centered around an estimated $816 in pension debt. FGIC may be held responsible for payment if investors end up taking losses.
The Grand Bargain aims to relieve $7 billion in liabilities while supporting state retirement arrangements from state and private contributors. Detroit has guaranteed it will not sell off any pieces from its art collection to pay back any debts.
Syncora apologized in a court filing Monday. The company has been a longtime adversary in the case and recently accused court appointed mediators of inappropriate conduct and conflict of interest.
Because of the apology, Rhodes has stated he will no longer sanction Syncora in its attorneys.