Citigroup accidentally wired $900 million to Revlon lenders, now it’s fighting to get it back

Representational image|
Revlon brand eye shadow is displayed for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, 28 February, 2018.| Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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New York: Citigroup Inc. has recovered less than half of a $900 million payment it mistakenly wired to Revlon Inc. lenders, some of whom are locked in a bitter fight with the struggling cosmetics giant.

The bank had recouped some of the money, which the New York-based lender blamed on a clerical error, and more was trickling in on Friday, according to people with knowledge of the matter. But some of the lenders — including three firms who had claimed Revlon was in default and should have repaid them anyway — are refusing to return it, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

A representative for Citigroup declined to comment on the payment, which was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal. Revlon said it wasn’t behind the payment.

“Revlon did not pay down the loan or any part of the loan,” a representative for the company said in an emailed statement.

The payment error comes as Revlon, controlled by Ron Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes, is embroiled in a legal dispute with a group of lenders including Brigade Capital Management, HPS Investment Partners and Symphony Asset Management over the company’s debt-restructuring tactics. On Wednesday, UMB Bank, sued Revlon on behalf of the lenders, claiming it moved valuable brand assets beyond lenders’ reach to benefit of other creditors.

Brigade, HPS and Symphony are among the dissenting firms that haven’t paid back the accidental loan payment, which was the equivalent of the principal amount plus accrued interest, the people said.

Along with the suit, UMB sent Revlon a notice of acceleration on the loans, claiming the company is operating under a default, the people said. Revlon said it would fight UMB’s “meritless” lawsuit and said UMB doesn’t have standing because it’s not the agent on the loan.

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