SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The board of Brazil´s Oi SA (OIBR4.SA) has approved a change to the restructuring proposal of the debt-laden telecom provider to be submitted to creditors on Monday, the company said in a securities filing.
Terms of the proposed changes will be filed by the company with the court in Rio de Janeiro that oversees Latin America´s largest-ever bankruptcy proceeding, which aims to restructure 65 billion reais in debt.
The board on Friday approved an agreement proposed by a small group of creditors known as G6, which had been negotiating with controlling shareholder Pharol SGPS SA (PHRA.LS) and key minority shareholder Nelson Tanure.
Once the terms have been filed with the court, Oi will try to gather support from the creditors needed to approve it at a Nov. 10 creditors’ assembly, which will decide on the company’s future.
The filing on Saturday did not elaborate on which changes were made to the plan. Reuters reported this week that the plan put forth by distressed asset funds such as Attestor Capital LLP and Centerbridge Partners LP includes payments to the bondholders that commit to providing new capital to the company.
The board also formally rejected the alternative proposals by the groups of creditors Ad Hoc Group of Oi Bondholders and International Bondholders Committee, advised by Moelis & Company, G5 Evercore and FTI.
These groups of creditors, which together hold around 23 billion reais ($7 billion) in debt, had submitted a proposal that would leave them with 88 percent of Oi’s equity in exchange for the debt. In the filing, Oi said “their proposal treats stakeholders unequally ... and brings uncertainty and delay to the bankruptcy protection process”.
Oi’s last proposal limited the debt-for-equity swap to 25 percent of the company’s capital. The proposal was shunned by the largest creditors, who said it failed to address most concerns.
The largest creditors protested on Saturday against the board’s decision. In a statement, the Ad Hoc and the International Bondholders Committees said the board is “holding the company hostage” and the amended plan has “the only goal of defending current shareholders’ interests, even against the company.”
Should creditors reject the restructuring proposal, the company could be liquidated. The main bondholders want to avoid that at all costs, two people with knowledge of the situation told Reuters last month, saying the main bondholders would stand to lose more if the company were liquidated than if the bondholders accepted the Tanure-backed terms.
Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Matthew Lewis