Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA (ADR)(OTCMKTS:OIBRQ) has approved a $20 billion restructuring plan aimed at offsetting debts owed to creditors. The creditors’approval marks the firm’s last hurdle in its bankruptcy process, which is the largest in Latin America.
Three of the four classes of creditors voted almost unanimously in favor of the plan after an extensive five hour session held in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian national telecoms regulator, which holds Oi debt amounting to billions of dollars was the only major creditor which appeared to resist the restructuring plan. In a statement, Oi said the approved plan will serve the interests if all shareholders.
The creditors voted marked over one and a half years of negotiations.During the negotiations, Oi and its creditors differed on the best way to restructure some $20 billion debt.If the firm was liquidated, over 100, 000 jobs could have been lost in the process. Following the bankruptcy protection, Chinese firms, including China Mobile Ltd and China Telecom Corpintend to buy out Oi. The two firms are part of a growing list of investors seeking to inject cash into Oi. Its managementhas said there is need for cash injection. Oi, which is the biggest fixed line telco in brazil, intends to expand its fixed-line broadband and 4G phone networks using the fresh capital. According to court documents, Oi will then use the funds to bolster it’s technological innovation in a bid to compete with advanced firms, including Telefonica Brazil SA and TIM Participacoes SA. A huge number of business entities has requested for tweaks before approving the restructuring plan.However, some major firms including Brazil state banks led to delays as they took time to submit their tweaks for the plan.
The plan stipulates some changes, including a complete overhaul of the firm’s corporate governance structures.The firm’s capital injectors will also be included in the board.
Nelson Tanure, among other influential shareholders tried to shoot down the vote to no success. The firm fears that his litigious could delay the plan, casting uncertainty over its future. Under the approved plan, creditors could turn their debts into Oi stock.
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