‘Someone’s Losing Their Job’: Revlon Lenders Were Surprised at Citi’s $900 Million Mistake

Lenders dispute they knew Citi paid them in error until the bank informed them and demanded repayment

A Citibank branch in New York. Citi was the loan agent hired by Revlon to distribute interest and principal payments on its debt.

Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg News

When Citigroup Inc. accidentally used its own funds to repay nearly $900 million owed by Revlon Inc., lenders were surprised at their unexpected payoff, according to internal chat and email messages unearthed in litigation and made public by the bank. One lender couldn’t resist a joke at Citi’s expense.

The mistaken payment has put the bank at loggerheads with Revlon lenders including HPS Investment Partners LLC, Brigade Capital Management LP and other hedge-fund managers, straining longstanding business relationships and touching off a high-stakes dispute in New York federal court.

In an internal chat after the payments were made, one HPS employee mimicked a conversation involving the Citi banker who was responsible, according to court papers filed by the bank Saturday.

“How was work today honey?” the unnamed employee wrote. “It was ok, except I accidentally sent [$900 million] out to people who weren’t supposed to have it.”

The employee also wrote that he felt bad for whoever at the bank had “fat fingered” the payment.

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