US judge dismisses involuntary bankruptcy against Mexico's TV Azteca

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed an involuntary bankruptcy case against Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca, controlled by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, stemming from a petition filed by bondholders over missed payments.

The decision by Judge Lisa G. Beckerman, posted Monday evening and reviewed by Reuters, granted TV Azteca's motion to dismiss on grounds that the petitioning creditors' claims are subject to a bona fide dispute.

"The petitioning creditors cannot voluntarily disclaim their entitlement to a redemption premium so that their claims are not subject to a bona fide dispute," the decision said.

TV Azteca issued $400 million in unsecured notes in 2017, and according to creditors' claims, began missing payments in 2021.

A spokesperson for TV Azteca declined to comment.

In March, a group of three creditors - Luxembourg-based Plenisfer Investments SICAV, New York-based Cyrus Capital Partners and Sandpiper Ltd, registered in the Cayman Islands - filed a petition in the United States for TV Azteca to enter bankruptcy involuntarily, alleging the broadcaster is not paying an owed $63.32 million.

They are represented by New York law firm Akin Gump, which also represented a group of bondholders in a similar suit against Mexican nonbank lender Credito Real CREAL.MX, which collapsed after defaulting on a bond last year.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Stephen Coates)