December 23, 2019 / 10:54 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Oi says mobile unit to issue up to $609.4 mln in debenture bonds

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By Gabriela Mello

SAO PAULO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA said on Monday its mobile unit has signed an agreement to issue up to 2.5 billion reais ($609.40 million) in debenture bonds with a 24-month term to meet its cash needs.

The move comes as Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier struggles to turn around its business since filing for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 and to restructure approximately 65 billion reais ($15.7 billion) of debt.

In a securities filing early on Monday, Oi said the debt issuing was foreseen in its restructuring plan as debtor-in-possession financing (DIP) to raise cash while under bankruptcy.

The company is also working to divest non-core assets such as towers, data centers, real estate and a 25% stake in Angolan carrier Unitel to fulfill investments in its fiber-to-the-home broadband service.

Earlier in December, Oi’s chief operating officer said the company had hired financial advisors to put a value on its mobile unit, which has draw the interest of all three competitors.

Executives from all three major carriers - Telefonica Brasil SA, TIM Participações SA and America Movil’s Claro - said they could consider a deal with Oi.

$1 = 4.1024 reais Reporting by Gabriela Mello; editing by Alison Williams, Larry King

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