Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has reportedly offered to invest $250 million in Brazilian telecom operator Oi in
an effort to pull the company out of bankruptcy proceedings.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, a proposal for the investment has been drafted by the Sawiris Group together with Moelis, an American investment bank and a group of bondholders.
In the proposed deal, the Sawiris Group will infuse cash of $1.25 billion into the company. $1 billion of this amount will be realized by a public share sale, while the remaining $250 million will come from Sawiris himself. If the deal goes through, the Sawiris Group will have control over Oi. Some of Oi’s shareholders are not in favor of the deal and G5 Evercore, an advisory firm, is leading a selection of bondholders in an attempt to reach an alternative agreement.
A spokesperson for Sawiris did not respond to an email requesting for comment.In June last year, Oi filed for bankruptcy protection and filed its own recovery plan in September, but shareholders have rejected the plan. Oi owes roughly $2.9 billion to the regulator, Anatel, and almost as much to indigenous banks. Oi is also reportedly talking to a number of private equity firms about alternative rescue deals.
Sawiris, 62, is the 3rd richest person in Egypt with a fortune FORBES estimates at $3.7 billion, earned largely from his stake in Egyptian mobile telecom outfit, Orascom Telecom Media & Technology (OTMT). He also has interests in mining and construction.
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