UPDATE 1-Three big firms pursue Oi creditor protection mandate -sources

viernes 8 de julio de 2016 18:15 GYT

(Adds details of bankruptcy protection process)

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, July 8 (Reuters) - Alvarez & Marsal, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche are pursuing a mandate to administer the bankruptcy protection process for Brazilian telecommunications group Oi SA, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Oi filed last month for court protection from creditors on 65.4 billion real ($19.9 billion) of bonds, bank debt and operating liabilities, Brazil's biggest filing ever of its kind.

The judge in charge of the case has asked telecom watchdog Anatel to propose candidates for the role, and on Friday the regulator extended the deadline for applications to July 11.

The Oi saga took another twist on Friday when a minority investor called for the replacement of most of its board, underscoring deep divisions among major shareholders that derailed recent negotiations with creditors.

Alvarez & Marsal submitted a formal bid with Anatel on Friday and received confirmation from the regulator that the bid was received, said a third source with direct knowledge of the matter. The timing of the Price and Deloitte bids is unclear.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has little experience with court-administration services in Brazilian bankruptcies. However, "a case like Oi could be a good opportunity to debut," said one of the sources.

KPMG was also expected to bid for a mandate, but it has worked as Oi's external auditor, which the sources said may present a conflict of interest.   Continuación...