(Recasts to add details on potential asset sales, DIP loan suspension throughout)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazil’s OAS Investimentos SA, whose parent company is under creditor protection, has so far received five proposals for a stake in infrastructure company Invepar, with bidders also looking to buy its environment services and oil drilling units, executives said on Tuesday.
The best of the non-binding proposals values OAS’s 24.4 percent stake in Invepar at around 2 billion reais ($588 million), Chief Financial Officer Nathaniel Wendling told reporters. He declined to unveil the names of potential bidders or terms of their proposals.
There are binding offers for environment services provider OAS Serviços Ambientais SA and rig operator OAS Óleo e Gás SA, said Chief Executive Officer Fabio Yonamine, without elaborating.
The bankruptcy court and creditors must approve any asset sales. OAS and three Brazilian pension funds jointly own Invepar.
In June, Reuters reported that Canadian asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc secured the right to top any bid from rival parties interested in OAS’s Invepar stake, namely local buyout firm GP Investments Ltd and France’s Vinci SA at that time. Brookfield has repeatedly denied to comment on the deal, as did GP and Vinci.
In March, parent company Grupo OAS filed for bankruptcy protection in a São Paulo court to facilitate the restructuring of 8 billion reais in debt owed by nine units.
The bankruptcy petition came after Grupo OAS struggled with the impact of a corruption probe at state-controlled oil producer Petróleo Brasileiro SA that undercut access to financing. An economic downturn and a slumping currency also took a toll on Grupo OAS.
The executives expect a court in Rio de Janeiro to authorize the disbursement of a debtor-in-possession loan needed to pay for ongoing operations. A DIP loan is a lending facility that creditors extend to distressed companies during their judicial recovery process.
Late last month, a group of local bondholders requested a court in Rio de Janeiro keep OAS from obtaining the loan. A source with knowledge of the situation expects the court to decide on the issue by the end of this month.
Last month, Judge Daniel Carnio Costa of a São Paulo bankruptcy court had freed up the loan of 800 million reais after court-appointed administrator Alvarez & Marsal Holdings LLC gave the go-ahead for the financing facility. Brookfield is extending the loan to OAS, which will set aside the Invepar stake as collateral.
$1 = 3.4651 Brazilian reais Editing by Lisa Shumaker