Oi’s Biggest Shareholders Said Close to Restructuring Agreement

  • Plan to be submitted on Monday said to be placeholder
  • Pharol, Tanure said to be talking to other shareholders

Two of Oi SA’s biggest shareholders are close to an agreement on a recovery plan for the company, a potential step toward recovery for the beleaguered phone carrier, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investors, Pharol SGPS SA and Brazilian magnate Nelson Tanure, would have some form of shared management of Oi under the deal, said the people who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The Brazilian phone carrier will file a placeholder plan in bankruptcy court on Monday, giving the parties more time to work out a full deal, said one of the people. An agreement may put an end to the legal dispute between the two investors and may also involve other major shareholders, who are already in discussions, the person said.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June, claiming about $20 billion in debt. The company has remained mired in last place among Brazil’s four big mobile-phone companies and has struggled to contain costs, in part because of government requirements that it maintain outdated infrastructure such as payphones and old buildings.

Tanure called for two shareholder votes on Sept. 8 on whether to replace part of the company’s board with his nominees and consider legal action against Lisbon-based Pharol. A bankruptcy judge suspended those shareholder meetings Friday, ordering the investors to seek mediation.

Oi and Tanure declined to comment. An official from Pharol said an agreement with Tanure hasn’t been reached, adding that “the company is respecting the court decision to attempt an agreement on mediation.” Pharol is the largest shareholder of Oi, with a 22 percent stake, while Tanure is third, with 6.3 percent. Morgan Stanley is second with a 7.1 percent stake.

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