Leading banks ‘close to deal’ with bankrupt Oi

Bankrupt Brazilian operator Oi is close to negotiating a settlement with five major banks, which are owed 21% of the BRL 14 billion ($4.3 billion) of the company’s debt.

According to unconfirmed reports in Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the banks will reschedule the debts over a 15-year period.

The banks involved in the negotiation are the Bank of Brazil, the largest creditor, plus BNDES, China Development Bank,

Caixa Econômica Federal and Itaú. Between them they account for 90% of Oi’s bank debt, says O Globo.

The company also owes money to Anatel, the country’s telecoms regulator, and it is proposing what the newspaper calls a conduct adjustment term. Bondholders, which are owed $11.3 billion, are likely to have their debt converted to shares.

The bankruptcy process has helped Oi’s cashflow, says O Globo, as it no longer has to make interest payments during the reorganisation. That will potentially save it $2 billion between July and December 2016. The company’s cash reserves stand at $1.6 billion.

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