SAO PAULO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The board of Brazilian telephone operator Oi SA has referred to a bankruptcy judge an activist investor’s request for legal action against company managers, its second straight bid to thwart the investor’s moves, according to a securities filing late Wednesday.
In the filing, Oi’s board referred a decision on activist investor Société Mondiale’s late July request for a shareholders meeting to approve an arbitration claim against controlling shareholder Pharol to the Rio de Janeiro judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy.
Société Mondiale, an investment vehicle for Brazilian businessman Nelson Tanure, owns 7 percent of Oi’s voting stock. It also wants Oi to pursue a claim against Santander Brasil , which advised Oi on its 2015 merger with Portugal Telecom, as Pharol was previously known.
This is the second time Oi’s board has refrained from discussing Société Mondiale’s proposals. On July 22, the company asked the court to rule on Société Mondiale’s request to call a shareholders meeting to seek the replacement of five members of Oi’s nine-person board. That decision is pending.
Tanure, known for investing in financially distressed companies, acquired a stake in Oi through Société Mondiale after Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June.
Société Mondiale also is proposing the annulment of a shareholders meeting held in March 2015 in which a share swap between Portugal Telecom and Oi was approved as part of Oi’s takeover by the Portuguese company.
Pharol remains the largest individual shareholder of Oi, with 27.49 of its voting shares.
Both Pharol and Santander Brasil have declined to comment on Société Mondiale’s proposal to commence legal action against them. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Christian Plumb and Bill Trott)