Feb 20 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court has barred shipbuilder and ship-leaser OSX Brasil SA from joining its bankruptcy protection petition to that of Oleo e Gas Participações SA, the oil company controlled by former billionaire Eike Batista.
Judges of the 14th civil division of the Rio de Janeiro State Justice Tribunal made the ruling in response to a request by Spanish construction company Acciona to keep the bankruptcy filings separate, the court’s press office said on Thursday. The decision was handed down on Wednesday but has yet to be officially published, the press office said.
OSX is also controlled by Batista and is an Oleo e Gas creditor. A joint petition would result in a conflict of interest for OSX that could harm OSX creditors, the judges said. OSX gets nearly all its revenue by leasing oil-production ships to Oleo e Gas.
The OSX bankruptcy protection petition, which was filed on Nov. 11, will be given to a new judge at the Rio de Janeiro State Justice Tribunal, the court’s press office said. Oleo e Gas, formerly known as OGX Petroleo e Gas Participações SA, filed Latin America’s largest-ever bankruptcy protection petition on Oct. 30.
At the time of its filing, Oleo e Gas owed creditors 11.2 billion reais ($4.7 billion). OSX owed 5.34 billion reais.
Because of agreements signed between OSX and Oleo e Gas and their creditors in December, the court’s decision is unlikely to have an impact on the development of OSX’s bankruptcy petition and reorganization plans, OSX said in a statement.
A separate bankruptcy petition also is unlikely to result in the seizure of OSX’s floating production ships operating under contract to Oleo e Gas, OSX said.
$1 = 2.39 Brazilian reais Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Paul Simao