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SAO PAULO, April 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian phone carrier Grupo Oi SA said on Wednesday it plans to offer up to 22.75 billion reais ($10 billion) in new stock, a key step in its planned merger with Portugal Telecom SGPS SA.
The announcement came less than a day after securities watchdog CVM lifted a suspension on the primary share offering. The company expects to raise fresh capital to beef up CorpCo, the new entity after it combines with Portugal Telecom.
A pricing date for the deal was not specified in a filing with the CVM. The date originally expected in a preliminary prospectus was April 16.
Last week, shareholders of Oi and Portugal Telecom approved the capital increase and separate asset appraisals at their respective assemblies in Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon.
Executives at the companies say the tie-up will give the resulting entity more clout to compete inside Brazil with bigger rivals such as Spain's Telefonica SA, Telecom Italia SpA's TIM Participações SA and Mexico's America Movil SAB.
Under terms of the plan, Grupo Oi said it would issue up to 1,917,028,657 common shares and 3,834,057,315 preferred shares in an initial offering based on Tuesday's closing price.
The company said it could increase that amount through a supplemental offering of up to 287,554,298 common shares and 575,108,597 preferred shares; followed by an additional offering of up to 383,405,731 common shares and 766,811,463 preferred shares.
Both common and preferred shares of Grupo Oi were trading about 3 percent higher after the announcement. ($1 = 2.27 reais) (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski)