(Updates with Triunfo declining to comment)
SAO PAULO, July 26 (Reuters) - Two Brazilian companies operating the Viracopos airport outside of Sao Paulo are considering handing back their licenses due to disappointing returns, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Wednesday.
The funds recovered as indemnization for past investments could help TPI Triunfo Participações e Investimentos SA and UTC Engenharia SA weather a cash crunch, the report said, citing people close to the firms. Both companies are currently restructuring heavy debt loads.
Triunfo and UTC Engenharia each hold 45 percent stakes in Aeroportos Brasil, which manages the Campinas-based airport together with the country’s state airport agency. France’s Egis SA owns the remaining 10 percent.
The companies have invested heavily in Viracopos since taking over in 2012 but their bets turned sour as the promise of strong demand failed to materialize. Efforts to find a buyer for their stakes were unsuccessful, the report said.
A press representative for Triunfo declined to comment on the story. UTC was not immediately available to comment.
Triunfo agreed on Saturday on terms to restructure 2.113 billion reais ($666 million) in debt out of court after Brazil’s deepest recession in decades corroded profitability on its investments in toll roads, electricity and airports.
UTC has struggled to keep up investments in Viracopos after filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this month. It is restructuring 3.4 billion reais in debt as it struggles with the spillovers from its involvement in a massive corruption scandal. ($1 = 3.17 reais) (Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)