(Recasts to add Schroeder interview, analysts and investors views)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) - A new reorganization plan from Brazil’s debt-laden phone carrier Oi SA boosted shares on Thursday, but analysts continued to focus on the need for fresh capital after a heavy fourth-quarter loss.
Changes to the plan revealed late on Wednesday would offer Oi’s financial creditors 25 percent of its equity or convertible bonds to be called in three years, at which point they could own up to 38 percent of the company’s shares.
The updated plan would more than halve Oi’s total financial debt to about 21 billion reais from 48 billion reais, analysts at Credit Suisse said on Thursday. If approved, Oi’s plan would impose an 86 percent writeoff on bondholders owed about 31 billion reais of claims, according to Itaú BBA analysts.
Oi’s common shares rose nearly 16 percent to 4.81 reais on Thursday, on track for their biggest one-day gain in nearly three weeks.
Itaú analysts said Oi is offering better restructuring terms, but they underscored a need for a capital injection to ensure Oi maintains investment capacity.
Oi’s Chief Executive Marco Schroeder told Reuters that the company generates enough cash to meet financial obligations and make necessary investments after the restructuring.
“A capital injection could be important, but we would only accept one if we receive a balanced proposal that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders,” he said in an interview.
Talks with potential investors including Cerberus Capital Management and Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp have not produced concrete results, he added.
In December, Oi received a binding proposal from a group of bondholders supported by Orascom TMT Holdings SAE to inject up to $1.25 billion into the carrier in exchange for a 95 percent stake.
Schroeder said Orascom’s plan would be hard to implement as it offers unequal treatment to distinct bondholder groups. Also, this plan gives creditors too large a stake, the executive said.
Oi’s updated plan should be submitted to the court in its current form, but technically it can be changed until the moment creditors formally vote on it in court, Schroeder said.
Schroeder said Oi included an immediate debt-for-equity swap, which he expects will face a creditor vote by June, to accommodate feedback from creditors.
Oi also reported losing 3.3 billion reais in the final quarter of 2016, a narrower loss from the comparable quarter in 2015 due to cost cutting and lower financial expenses.
$1 = 3.14 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Paul Simao and Cynthia Osterman