White & Case Advises Brazilian Telecom Company on Largest-Ever Debt Restructuring in Latin America
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Oi S.A., a Brazilian telecommunications company, on its restructuring of more than US$20 billion of debt, the largest-ever debt restructuring in Latin America.
The Firm acted as international counsel, advising Oi with respect to its New York and English law governed bond debt and export credit agreements and with respect to US and English law issues arising in Oi's various judicial insolvency cases, which spanned across Brazil, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal and the Cayman Islands.
Following months of intense negotiations among its debt and equity stakeholders, Oi's restructuring plan received overwhelming support from each class of creditors during the meeting of Oi's creditors that began on December 19, 2017, and ended successfully in the early hours of December 20.
As part of the restructuring plan, certain bondholders agreed to backstop a new capital raise of R$4 billion to expand Oi's fixed-line broadband used in homes and 4G cellular networks. The plan also creates a transitional board of directors for Oi, designed to maintain stability during the implementation of the restructuring, that will include existing board members and new members selected by Oi's investors; existing statutory directors (officers) who were instrumental in achieving this successful restructuring of Oi's indebtedness will continue in office.
Oi, founded in 1998 and headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the world's largest integrated telecommunications service providers and a critical source of telecom services throughout Brazil. Oi provides fixed-line and mobile broadband and pay TV, landline, data transmission and internet services for more than 63 million customers, and employs more than 143,000 direct and indirect employees within Brazil. Oi also has more than two million Wi-Fi hotspots in Brazil.
The White & Case team that advised on the transaction included a large team of partners and associates, and was led by partners Richard Kebrdle and Mark Bagnall in Miami and Laura Prater in London. The White & Case partner team also included John Cunningham and Jason Zakia in Miami; Donald Baker in São Paulo; Ian Wallace, Charles Balmain, Richard Pogrel and Christopher Czarnocki in London; Christopher Shore, Jonathan Michels and Ray Simon in New York; and John Willems and Christophe Von Krause in Paris.
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