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Lupatech Seeks to Postpone Interest Payment on Local Bonds

Lupatech SA, Brazil’s largest oil-services company, is seeking to postpone interest payments on 320 million reais ($174 million) of local bonds from state development bank BNDES after profit fell and it lost contracts.

The company will ask bondholders to delay for 120 days annual interest payment due April 15, according to an e-mailed statement today from the company. Lupatech, based in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, will also seek a waiver on bond debt covenants.

Lupatech needs to renegotiate terms on its bonds after state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA canceled two contracts worth $779 million. Its top shareholders, led by BNDES, signed an agreement to inject as much as 700 million reais of fresh capital in the company through a share sale after Lupatech posted five straight quarterly losses.

BNDES will approve Lupatech’s request, according to a person familiar with the bank’s plans.

Lupatech rose 4 centavos, or 0.8 percent to 4.82 reais at 2:51 p.m. in Sao Paulo. Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.7 percent.

The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Monteiro, said the move “aims to avoid an unnecessary short term commitment of cash, aligning the payments flow with the company’s capitalization schedule,” according to the statement.

The oil-services provider’s order backlog was slashed by 60 percent to 935 million reais from 2.33 billion reais after Petrobras canceled the contracts, Lupatech said April 2.

BNDES holds about 90 percent of the bonds, according to information on Lupatech’s website. Lupatech has scheduled a local bondholders’ meeting for April 30, it said in the statement. BNDES, based in Rio de Janeiro, declined to comment.

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