November 8, 2017 / 10:25 PM / a year ago

Bondholder group asks for court to intervene in board of Brazil's Oi

SAO PAULO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - The law firm representing a bondholder group in debt-laden Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA has asked a court to nullify decisions made by the company’s board, according to a copy of the motion seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The motion by law firms including Pinheiro Neto Advogados, which represents the so-called Ad Hoc Group of Oi Bondholders, asked the court in Rio de Janeiro to suspend appointments the board made on Friday of two members of Oi’s management.

The filing also asks the court to suspend the voting rights of board members associated with major shareholders Pharol SGPS SA and Nelson Tanure’s Société Mundiale on any matters relating to the company’s current debt restructuring. In the filing, the bondholders argued those groups have obstructed all attempts by the company to talk to creditors to the detriment of Oi, among other issues.

A spokesman for Tanure responded that the motion lacks legal founding. Oi and Pharol did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Oi, Brazil’s fourth largest telecoms company, filed for Latin America’s largest ever bankruptcy proceeding last year, sagging under 65.4 billion reais ($20.1 billion) of debt. The restructuring process has been messy, with fighting between and among shareholders, bondholders and the government.

On Friday, Oi’s board, which Tanure and Pharol control, appointed two new members to the company’s management, allowing a restructuring plan approved by the board to be finalized. On Wednesday, however, Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel demanded that plan be presented to the regulator before it is filed with a bankruptcy court.

While a final creditor vote on the company’s restructuring plan is scheduled for Friday, Brazilian public banks with debt in Oi requested on Wednesday that it be delayed, a government source told Reuters. Even if the meeting is officially convened, creditors may decide to delay a vote to a later date.

In the bondholders’ filing on Wednesday, creditors also requested that the Oi board’s most recent restructuring plan only be signed after the bankruptcy judge on the case reviews and approves it. ($1 = 3.25 reais) (Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Grant McCool)

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