Worldwide: ¿Cuál es el rol de un agente de garantías o "collateral agent"?

¿En qué momento una compañía necesita un agente de garantías (también denominado collateral agent o fiduciario de la garantía)? Cuando hay multiplicidad de acreedores, y sus créditos cuentan con garantías, un agente de garantías es frecuentemente designado para unificar la representación de éstos frente al deudor común y hacer valer los derechos sobre las garantías en caso de que el deudor no cumpla con los términos del préstamo o los bonos corporativos emitidos.

Asimismo pueden conservar las garantías durante el plazo del préstamo. Hay varias razones por las cuales es deseable la designación de un agente de garantías. Puede haber un sindicato de acreedores que otorgan un préstamo, por lo cual tendría sentido centralizar las responsabilidades relacionadas con las garantías delegándolas a un agente que actuará bajo la dirección del número de acreedores necesario (tal como se especifique en los documentos de la transacción). También es posible que las garantías estén situadas en una jurisdicción donde los acreedores o el trustee que representa a los inversores no tengan presencia. Los derechos de los acreedores en las garantías otorgadas son típicamente determinados por las leyes locales, por lo cual sería prudente contratar a un agente local que esté familiarizado con la jurisdicción local. También es posible que el acreedor no sea el adecuado para conservar garantías, por lo cual es necesario contratar un agente independiente que tenga las capacidades apropiadas.

El rol de un agente de garantías

Previo a un incumplimiento de pagos, el rol del agente de garantías en un financiamiento garantizado es generalmente muy simple. El mismo involucra la aceptación de una determinada garantía, por ejemplo una prenda, y el ejercicio de los derechos contra esa garantía cuando es instruido en ese sentido.

El agente de garantía puede ser requerido para tener a su cargo ciertos tipos de garantías. Las garantías pueden ser respecto de bienes registrables (prendas o hipotecas) o, en determinadas circunstancias, derechos creditorios. Los documentos de la transacción pueden requerir que el agente de garantías realice ciertas acciones especiales en relación a la garantía, tales como mantenerla segura en instalaciones contra incendios, o inscribir en los respectivos registros que se ha constituido sobre determinado bien una garantía a nombre del agente de garantía y en beneficio de los acreedores.

En algunas jurisdicciones, para que la garantía sea efectiva, el agente de garantías puede necesitar ser designado como parte garantizada. Puede requerirse que el agente firme documentos regidos bajo la ley local a fin de constituir una garantía y otorga al agente la capacidad de ejercer derechos sobre la garantía (tales como su ejecución). Ante esta situación, el agente necesitará contratar asesoramiento local – a cargo del sponsor de la transacción o deudor – para revisar estos documentos y asegurar que el agente de garantías no está sujeto a ninguna responsabilidad inesperada.

Si ocurre un incumplimiento bajo el financiamiento, el agente de garantías puede ser instruido para ejercer los derechos bajo la garantía. El agente lo hará solo bajo la dirección de los acreedores específicos o tenedores de bonos, y debe ser indemnizado por el costo de la ejecución, incluyendo los honorarios por asesoramiento. Todo flujo (generalmente neto de los costos y gastos del agente) proveniente de la realización de los activos bajo la garantía será remitido a los acreedores en relación a su préstamo.

Si la documentación es redactada en forma correcta, el riesgo para la entidad designada como agente de garantía debería ser mínimo. La documentación debe especificar claramente que las tareas del agente son de mandatario por naturaleza, por lo que el agente no ejerce acciones discrecionales sino que actúa solamente bajo la instrucción de los acreedores. La documentación también debe establecer una indemnización del agente por sus acciones (generalmente se excluye de la indemnización la actuación con culpa grave o conducta dolosa, y debe quedar claro que todos los costos derivados del ejercicio de la ejecución de la garantía deben ser afrontados por los acreedores).

Es posible que en algunas jurisdicciones las garantías tengan ciertas dificultades al momento de ejecutarlas y los esfuerzos en la ejecución de las mismas pueden terminar en juicios prolongados. Adicionalmente, en algunos supuestos, el agente puede tener la posibilidad de evaluar ejecutar o no determinados tipos de garantías por motivos reputacionales. Cada designación debe evaluarse individualmente.

TMF Group

TMF Group puede brindar servicios de agente de garantías/fiduciario de la garantía así también como una gama de servicios de mercado de capitales a través de nuestra presencia global. Como proveedor de servicios independiente, nuestros expertos locales pueden ocuparse de los trámites necesarios así también como de trabajar con tecnicismos locales para simplificar el trabajo legal requerido por el cliente a fin de reducir los gastos legales. Descubra cómo podemos ayudarle con su negocio. Contáctenos.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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