SAO PAULO May 2 Brazilian phone company Oi SA
said on Tuesday that Orascom TMT Holdings SAE,
controlled by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, and a group
of bondholder have given the carrier until June 1 to put
together a restructuring plan to help it exit bankruptcy
This is the fourth extension granted Oi by Orascom, which
offered in December an exchange of debt for shares and a capital
injection of as much as $1.25 billion in the phone company.
Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June last year under
the burden of debts totaling 65 billion reais ($20.6 billion).
The reorganization process has been marked by disputes
between creditors and shareholders over the fate of Brazil's No.
4 wireless carrier. The Brazilian government has threatened to
intervene should Oi stakeholders fail to reach an agreement.
The Orascom-bondholder group has committed to underwriting
the entire capital injection if no other investors step forward.
The reorganization plan was due to expire on Monday but the ad
hoc group of bondholders allied to Sawiris said it was revising
"A number of recent developments have led to the need to
revise the plan presented by our group," said Otavio Guazzelli,
of Moelis & Company, financial advisor to the group.
"We continue to work with other creditors and stakeholders
and expect to submit a new plan in the next few weeks," he said.
One development has been a government plan to allow telecom
operators to exchange debt with the state for investments in the
public sector. According to regulator Anatel, Oi owes the
government close to 15 billion reais in fines.
($1 = 3.1505 reais)
(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Anthony Boadle)