(Adds dissident bondholder group formed, Oi statement)
SAO PAULO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris and some creditors of Oi SA have renewed their ties and are working on a post-bankruptcy protection plan for the Brazilian phone carrier that could be ready within 30 days.
In a joint statement released on Friday, a group that includes about 70 bond firms that are advised by Moelis & Co and Sawiris affirmed their rejection of a plan proposed by Oi’s management on Sept. 5. Reuters reported on Oct. 21 that Sawiris and the Moelis-led group had teamed up, pledging to inject $1.5 billion into Oi.
Later on Friday a dissident group of bondholders was formed consisting of several investment firms owning more than $1.5 billion in bonds mainly issued by Oi’s finance subsidiaries.
“The group hopes to work with credible, interested parties to construct a viable operational and reorganization plan,” the dissident bondholders said in a statement, saying that they were in the process of mandating a financial adviser.
The phone carrier, which in June filed for Brazil’s largest ever in-court reorganization, said it was open to consider the views of all its creditors and said it is about to hire a new financial adviser to help with negotiations.
“The company’s priority is to show all creditors its ability to generate cash flow and advance operational improvements so that the process of approval of its debt restructuring plan can be done in a calm environment for its clients, the market and regulatory agencies,” Oi said in a statement.
Oi has hired financial advisory firm Laplace Finanças to help restructure about 41.2 billion reais ($12.15 billion) in debt with banks and bondholders, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The hiring of Laplace could add momentum to the reorganization at a time when Brazilian authorities say rifts among Oi’s main shareholders are delaying a solution.
On Tuesday, industry watchdog Anatel barred two board members appointed by Oi’s minority shareholder FIA Société Mondiale, claiming they could be influencing board decisions before their names were approved by the regulator.
$1 = 3.3900 reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Leslie Adler