SAO PAULO, April 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian phone carrier Oi SA is considering a capital injection while still under creditor protection, Chief Executive Marco Schroeder told newspaper Valor Econômico in an interview published on Friday.
Valor cited unnamed people involved in negotiations as saying the capital increase could total $2 billion to $3 billion. Schroeder declined to comment on specific figures, according to the report.
An Oi press representative confirmed the contents of Schroeder’s interview with Valor.
The capital injection would provide more firepower in Oi’s operational turnaround and could help advance thorny discussions between Oi and its creditors after it filed for Brazil’s largest ever bankruptcy protection last year.
Some creditors have openly criticized Oi’s proposed debt restructuring, leading Brazil’s government to lay the groundwork for a direct intervention in the company. Communications Minister Gilberto Kassab said on Thursday the chances of intervention are increasing as time passes.
Prominent bondholders and some strategic investors have long suggested Oi take additional capital, but this is the first time the carrier’s management publicly acknowledges that possibility.
Preferred shares of Oi have advanced 53.8 pct so far this year as traders hope for a solution to its debt issues. Common shares rose 42 percent. (Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)