Oi owners set for long haul - Mobile World Live

Oi owners set for long haul

28 AUG 2018

The investment companies which hold the biggest stakes in troubled Brazilian operator Oi are looking to improve its operations rather than focusing on a near term sale of their holdings, Reuters reported.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016, with debts at the time of BRL65.4 billion ($19.3 billion). It was then subject to disputes between shareholders and its debt owners as to how to restructure the business, with the Brazilian government also owed cash.

The new report said investors have “warmed” to the company since bondholders won a battle for control, after the long period of uncertainty. Oi is expected to complete a BRL4 billion capital raise this year, generating funds to be used for mobile and broadband investments.

But in the meantime, it has struggled operationally (with shrinkage in its fixed, broadband and mobile units) off the back of competition and macroeconomic issues. Its pay-TV business is performing strongly and plays a key role in its convergence proposition.

In its Q2 results, the company said revenue declines in its residential and B2B segments had “softened”, due to “the acceleration of commercial activity, the good performance of the new offerings, both in mobility and in residential segments, and improvement in the quality of the service provided”.

Unsurprisingly, the motivation for the strategy is that a reinvigorated Oi will be worth more to the investors than a weakened one, therefore enabling them to reap a greater reward with time. There are also some issues such as outstanding regulatory fines and a challenge to the restructure which would dampen valuations until they are sorted.

Oi has a shareholder meeting scheduled for mid-September, which Reuters said will address issues related to its board and bylaws, including rules surrounding potential changes in control.

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Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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