(Adds share performance, results in paragraph 10-11)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO, May 11 (Reuters) - TPI Triunfo Participações & Investimentos SA and its creditors are discussing a restructuring plan allowing the indebted Brazilian infrastructure company to retain cash from potential asset sales while it downsizes further, three people familiar with the situation said.
Triunfo’s sale of a 50 percent stake in a port to partner MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co SA is ready, one source said. An announcement hinges on whether state development bank BNDES and other Triunfo creditors agree not to use proceeds from the sale to get their loans repaid immediately, the person said.
Without an agreement with creditors, Triunfo could risk the completion of future asset sales, including stakes in an airport and several toll roads. An exit from the port known as Terminal Portuário de Navegantes SA would speed up the company’s downsizing, analysts at Eleven Financial Research said recently.
Triunfo is negotiating the restructuring proposal with creditors individually, two of the people said this week. While there is no timetable for presenting a definitive plan, the likelihood of that happening over the next two weeks or so is increasing, they added.
Neither Triunfo nor the banks want the highway, airport and port operator to file for bankruptcy protection, the sources said. Triunfo has struggled with the impact of Brazil’s three-year recession and a 3.5 billion-real ($1.11 billion) debt burden.
Brazilian corporate debt restructurings have become more complex in recent months as banks impose conditions such as sales of assets or even entire companies. This has slowed merger announcements in the country.
A spokeswoman for São Paulo-based Triunfo declined to comment. BNDES’s media office did not immediately comment.
One major goal of the plan is convincing BNDES to suspend the foreclosure of an 800 million-real loan that Triunfo defaulted on late last year, two of the people said.
Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Santander Brasil SA and state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA are among Triunfo’s creditors. Others include Banco Votorantim SA and Banco Pine SA.
Triunfo’s shares fell 2.4 percent on Thursday to 3.68 reais.
After markets closed, the company reported a net loss of 100 million reais in the first quarter, four times the size of its loss a year earlier, due to the rising cost of servicing debt.
In a Wednesday securities filing, Triunfo tapped Luiz Alberto Küster as senior vice president of a recently created new-business division.
Triunfo borrowed heavily at the start of the decade to fund expansion in toll roads, electricity and airports. Still, Brazil’s worst-ever recession has eroded profitability at the company, and at least 1 billion reais of its debt will mature by the end of next year.
Reuters reported on March 27 that MSC Mediterranean Shipping was likely to exercise a right of first refusal to buy Triunfo’s stake in the PortoNave port terminal for an equivalent of 12 times expected operational earnings.
The Geneva-based media office of MSC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apart from PortoNave, Triunfo is looking to sell stakes in companies running Brazil’s Viracopos international airport and a hydropower dam.
News of the PortoNave sale drove Triunfo’s shares to an 11-month high of 5.04 reais on April 4, but they have since fallen 29 percent.
$1 = 3.1563 reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Richard Chang