OSX Said Planning to File for Bankruptcy Protection Today

Eike Batista’s shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA is planning to file for bankruptcy protection today, according to two people familiar with the matter.

OSX, which intends to exclude from the filing three vessels used as collateral for $1.77 billion of debt, will submit documents in a Rio de Janeiro court, the people said, asking not to be named as the decision hasn’t been made public. Shares fell 2.1 percent to 46 centavos at 11:32 a.m. in Sao Paulo.

The shipbuilder would follow the former billionaire’s oil company and its biggest client, OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, into protection proceedings. OSX continues to study the measure, a press department official said by telephone from Rio, asking not to be named in line with company policy.

The company’s leasing unit, through which it owns the OSX-1, OSX-2 and OSX-3 platforms, won’t form part of the judicial recovery petition, as it’s known in Brazil, they said. If the platforms were included, they would need to wait the 180-day protection period against creditors to be sold.

Credit Suisse Group AG was hired to help sell OSX-1 and OSX-2 that guarantee two syndicated loans with a total value of $1.27 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month. OSX’s sole international bond of $500 million is also guaranteed by a vessel, OSX-3.

Alvarez & Marsal Inc., the restructuring company that worked on the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy case, is advising OSX, while legal firm Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados is advising Batista’s EBX group on debt restructuring, the people said.

Shipyard Debt

The debt from OSX’s shipyard unit will be included in the filing for bankruptcy protection, the people said. The shipyard unit extended the maturity for a year on a 461 million-real ($200 million) loan from state-run Caixa Economica Federal, which is guaranteed by Banco Santander SA, according to a regulatory filing this week. Caixa also granted a loan of 627.4 million reais to the unit, according to its earnings statement.

Since Aug. 18 state development bank BNDES has been pushing out maturities on a loan for 518 million reais with guarantees from Banco Votorantim SA and no vessel as collateral, two people with knowledge said last month.

In an Oct. 31 statement, the shipbuilder said it was ready to seek bankruptcy protection if management decided that was the best way to protect its interests.

OSX’s dollar bonds due 2015, which are backed by a contract to lease the platform to OGX, have fallen 20 cents this year to 84 cents on the dollar. Bondholders hired AlixPartners LLP to advise on a possible restructuring, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.