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By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A group of bondholders in Oi SA appealed on Friday a ruling by a Dutch court that refused to declare insolvent two subsidiaries in the Netherlands, the latest setback in a protracted legal battle to solve Brazil’s largest bankruptcy case on record.
In an emailed statement, the International Bondholder Committee group said it “remains committed to finding a consensual solution” to restructure the debt of the two Oi subsidiaries.
The International Bondholder Committee holds more than $2 billion of bonds issued by the two Dutch companies and other members of the Oi group. The units have outstanding debt of about $6.2 billion.
Oi declined to comment.
The appeal underscores the dissenting agendas of different creditor groups participating in Oi’s restructuring, and how their disagreements are hampering the process.
Oi’s common and preferred shares both rose about 1.6 percent in late afternoon trade, to 3.8 reais and 3.2 reais respectively.
In December, a separate group of Oi bondholders advised by Moelis & Co proposed injecting $1.25 billion of new capital into Oi, a move that would give them immediate control of the carrier through a debt-for-equity swap. Backed by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, the plan is part of a binding offer presented to Oi after the Moelis group considered the carrier’s own reorganization proposal “unacceptable” for imposing a 70 percent haircut on the bond debt.
“The restructuring should treat similarly situated creditors equally,” the International Bondholder Group said, adding that if there is a proven need to raise new capital, all creditors should be invited to take part “on a fair and equitable basis.”
Moelis did not have an immediate comment regarding the strategy of the group, which was formed in November by dissenting investors including Aurelius Capital Management LP, Attestor Capital LLC, Citadel LLP and York Capital Management.
Rio de Janeiro-based Oi made Brazil’s largest ever bankruptcy filing in June to restructure about 65 billion reais ($20.9 billion) of bond, bank and regulatory liabilities.
A stay of execution, which protects Oi from creditor suits, will expire in May, said a source close to bondholders who is not allowed to talk in public.
A Cerberus Capital Management LP-led group of investors also intends to present an alternative in-court restructuring proposal for Oi carrier by March.
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp unveiled plan for Oi involving a 9 billion reais capital injection last month.
$1 = 3.1111 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Cynthia Osterman