Oi’s proposals to exit bankruptcy protection via restructuring have been approved by two of its main creditor groups.
The beleaguered Brazilian operator filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016, with debts of BRL65.4 billion ($19.3 billion). It has since pitched proposals for restructuring this debt to its creditors, but had its previous proposals shot down by creditors in October and November.
Oi will therefore be relieved to have its latest plans approved in principle by the Ad Hoc Group of Oi Bondholders and International Bondholders Committee. The government of Brazil, which is ultimately accountable for a large amount of Oi’s debt via state finance institutions, has also given its provisional approval.
The latest revised proposals aim to increase Oi’s overall capital by up to BRL8 billion, with the operators creditors asked to provide a minimum of BRL3.5 billion, but no more than BRL5.5 billion. The remaining amount will be contributed by existing shareholders.
The proposals will see control over Oi assumed by its creditors once formal approval has been granted at Oi’s next creditor meeting, currently scheduled for 19th December. The two main creditor groups will hold BRL22 billion of Oi’s debt, with bondholders receiving as much as 75% of the shares in the operator.
Brazilian regulator Anatel is reportedly attempting to secure Oi both a grace period and favourable interest rates for the BRL14 billion that it owes in unpaid fines. The approval of Oi’s proposals reflects a reversal in the operator’s fortunes that began with the news that two Chinese operators – China Telecom and China Mobile – were considering investing in Oi.