Oi files for Brazil's largest $19bn bankruptcy protection

21 June 2016 |

Brazilian operator Oi has filed the country’s largest bankruptcy protection request in the country following a collapse of debt restructuring talks with creditors.

Oi and its six subsidiaries are $19.26 billion (65.4 billion reais) in debt, according to a filing.

“The request for recuperation was taken because of the obstacles confronted by the company management in trying to find a viable alternative with creditors,” the company said in a statement to shareholders.

Oi had sought to restructure about 50 billion reais in debt owned to banks and bondholders in the last two months. The operator has accumulated a significant amount of debt since its state-sponsored mergers in 2009 – first with Brasil Telecom, then with Portugal Telecom. Its chief executive Bayard Gontijo resigned June 10, 2016.

“Oi will do its utmost to maintain its normal commercial, operational and administrative activities,” said the company. “Oi will maintain its focus on investment in structurally important projects.”