May 24, 2017 / 2:15 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Odebrecht expects approval of airport stake sale within 90 days -paper

(Adds Odebrecht comment)

BRASILIA, May 24 (Reuters) - Engineering conglomerate Odebrecht SA expects aviation regulator Anac to approve the sale of its stake in Brazil’s second busiest international airport to HNA Airport Holding Group Co Ltd within 90 days, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Wednesday.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Odebrecht said it remains in exclusive talks with HNA Airport, part of China-based HNA Group Co Ltd, to sell its stake in the Rio de Janeiro international airport, or RIOGaleão. The deal, however, is not closed yet, Odebrecht said.

Press representatives for HNA did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The potential sale is part of Odebrecht’s efforts to dispose of assets as it seeks to stay current on about 76 billion reais of net debt and weather the impact from its involvement in Brazil’s worst corruption scandal.

Odebrecht and partner Changi Airports International Pte Ltd of Singapore have a combined 51 percent of Galeão, with aviation infrastructure authority Infraero holding the remainder.

Cabinet minister Wellington Moreira Franco, secretary-general for President Michel Temer, said last month HNA had already bought Odebrecht’s stake in RIOGaleão.

Odebrecht and its petrochemicals unit Braskem SA admitted to bribing officials in 12 countries, mostly Latin America, and agreed to pay $3.5 billion in fines in return for freedom from prosecution.

Odebrecht’s access to credit and new contracts in Brazil and almost a dozen countries has been almost fully shut down because of the scandal. Banks have raised pressure on Odebrecht to accelerate asset sales. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)

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