SAO PAULO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The controlling shareholders of Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA are still discussing ways to bolster the capital and refinance looming debt payments of the ailing Brazilian steelmaker, executives said at a Thursday conference call.
There is consensus among Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and Techint Group that Usiminas needs fresh capital to weather the worst crisis for Brazil's steel sector in years, Chief Financial Officer Ronald Seckelmann told investors at a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results.
Potential moves include a capital injection, a loan from both Nippon Steel and Techint, or a loan between subsidiaries, he added. Usiminas is also studying ways how to obtain the refinancing of short-term debt, he said, without elaborating.
Reuters reported on Friday that Usiminas is talking to four major banks to refinance about 4 billion reais ($1 billion) in loans maturing in the next two years. Sources said that Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Banco Santander Brasil SA and Banco do Brasil SA demand the company be capitalized prior to any debt relief plan.
Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal Editing by W Simon