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April 14 (Reuters) - Breitburn Energy Partners LP said it has decided to suspend distributions on preferred units and defer interest payments as the company was in talks with secured debtholders.
The oil and gas master limited partnership is the latest among a wave of cash-strapped companies skipping interest payments as they seek to restructure debt to weather a prolonged slump in crude prices.
Breitburn said deferring interest payment of a total of about $46.7 million due on Thursday has kicked off a 30-day grace period, and plans to use it to explore strategic alternatives to strengthen its balance sheet.
The company said it has retained Lazard Frères & Co LLC as its financial adviser and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as its legal adviser to assist in the strategic review, in addition to Jefferies LLC, which will provide corporate and financial advisory services. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)