BNDES Said to Be Willing to Let LLX Delay Debt PaymentCristiane Lucchesi
Brazil’s development bank will let LLX Logistica SA, the port operator former billionaire Eike Batista is ceding control of, delay a 518 million reais ($214 million) loan payment in September, a government official with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Talks on the details of the debt restructuring are continuing between the bank, known as BNDES, and Rio de Janeiro-based LLX, and no formal deal has been reached, the person said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are private. BNDES has no plans to call the collateral for the loan and wants the company to pay as its cash flow permits, the person said.
LLX has tumbled 29 percent this year as Batista’s commodities empire collapsed and concern intensified that the company wouldn’t be able to complete its Acu project, which Batista said would be the biggest port in the Americas. The debt deferral is designed to help LLX recover as Batista hands the company over to a new controlling shareholder, the person said, adding that BNDES plans to help other Batista companies after they are sold.
LLX said on Aug. 14 it reached an agreement to sell as much as 1.3 billion reais of new shares to private-equity fund EIG Global Energy Partners. Batista will remain a “relevant shareholder” after the deal, and won’t be part of management, LLX said.
A BNDES official declined to comment and asked not to be identified in keeping with bank policy.
LLX is in “advanced” talks with BNDES and Banco Bradesco SA to renegotiate debt, LLX said in an e-mailed statement today.
The company has a 345 million-real loan with Bradesco due in February. It said on May 3 it reached a deal with the Sao Paulo-based bank to extend payment of a separate 467.7 million-real loan due in October 2014.