Monday, 23 January 2017

Oi confirms Sawiris meeting over recovery plan

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Tuesday 20 December 16

Egyptian businessman reportedly ready to invest $250 million in troubled Brazilian telco.

Oi confirmed on Monday it has met with Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris about a recovery plan for the troubled Brazilian telco. Sawiris was joined by creditors Moelis and FTI Consulting, and together they proposed an alternative debt restructuring…

Oi confirmed on Monday it has met with Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris about a recovery plan for the troubled Brazilian telco.

Sawiris was joined by creditors Moelis and FTI Consulting, and together they proposed an alternative debt restructuring.

According to a Wall Street Journal report late last week, that plan would see Sawiris, majority shareholder of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMTH), invest $250 million in Oi, while a further $1 billion would be raised by a public share sale.

"The company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries will carefully analyse the suggestions of such group of creditors in due course, along with other suggestions that emerge during meetings with other creditors of the company," Oi said, in a statement.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June after failing to reach a deal with creditors over its hefty debt burden. In September the operator drew up a controversial debt restructuring plan that would have seen bondholders take a 70% haircut on their investment. That plan was rejected, and Oi and its creditors have still yet to agree on a recovery plan.

During this time a number of suitors have been linked with Oi.

Sawiris' name cropped up in reports just one day after the bankruptcy filing. He told Bloomberg at the time that he would be interested in working with LetterOne (L1) Technology – the Russian investment firm which at one time pledged to invest $4 billion in Oi on condition that it merge with TIM Brasil.

America Movil CEO Daniel Hajj was quoted in reports in September as saying the Mexico-based telco giant was interested in acquiring some or all of Oi.

Then in November, a local news report claimed Oi's board was mulling a possible merger with AT&T-owned Sky Brasil.

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