Creditors approve US$1.3 billion restructuring of Brazilian energy and infrastructure group
Thursday, 21 May 2015 (1 hour ago) by Toby Luckhurst
Felsberg Advogados has helped Brazilian infrastructure and energy company Inepar Group with their restructuring plan, thought to be one of the largest reorganisation plans filed last year.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu was the judicial administrator and advised by Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. The company’s creditors almost unanimously agreed to the 4 billion reais (US$1.3 billion) reorganisation on 13 May, with 98 per cent of secured creditors in favour. Brazil’s Bankruptcy Court in São Paulo is expected to confirm the plan within the next few weeks.
Holding company Inepar Indústria e Construções and eight of its subsidiaries are involved in the restructuring. The approved plan has five different payment options for secured creditors and four options for unsecured creditors. Among them are options allowing both sets of creditors to use debt-for-equity swap, which involves swapping debt or bonds for stock in the company, or exchanging their claims in the company for new perpetual convertible bonds, issued by the holding group, Inepar.
The plan also involves the sale of assets and subsidiaries. In the initial phase of the judicial restructuring, Inepar sold its stake in civil construction company TIISA, a joint venture with infrastructure company Triunfo Group; and its interest in hydroelectric machinery manufacturer Andritz Hydro Inepar, a joint venture with Andritz Brasil that builds machinery for hydroelectric power plants.
Felsberg Advogados partner Paulo Fernando Campana Filho explains that given the nine companies and over 13,000 creditors, it is impressive they managed to complete the plan within six months. “We worked through the night to make a document that would be approved by the creditors within a tight timeframe,” he said. Speaking of the main creditor, public bank Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) – which held the largest amount of secured and unsecured debt in the company worth 1.2 billion reais (US$395 million) – he said they were “surprisingly active and cooperative” in the process. As he explains, public banks cannot move as quickly as private banks given the regulatory and bureaucratic control, but he says they were very helpful in reaching the agreed deadline of 13 May.
Inepar operates in the hydroelectric power generation, oil and gas, and transport sectors of the economy. The group is another casualty of Brazil’s economic slowdown and filed for bankruptcy on 29 August last year after attempts to consolidate assets and shore up the company’s debt with the help of Lefosse Advogados in February 2014 failed.
Eneva, a former Eike Batista company, recently had their judicial restructuring plan approved with the help of Souza, Cescon, Barrieu e Flesch – Advogados and Galdino, Coelho, Mendes Advogados. Lefosse Advogados advised E.ON, who bought Eneva from Batista in 2013, while Pinheiro Neto Advogados and Vella Pugliese Buosi e Guidoni Advogados advised BTG Pactual.
Brazil’s ongoing anti-corruption investigation into Petrobras has also increased the number of companies seeking bankruptcy protection, as the state-owned oil company has suspended or cancelled contracts with its suppliers. Most recently, in April Petrobras subcontractor Grupo Schahin filed for bankruptcy protection for 28 of its subsidiaries, with the help of Dias Carneiro, Arystóbulo, Flores, Sanches and Thomaz Bastos Advogados. Pinheiro Guimarães – Advogados advised the shareholders. The same month, Portuguese steel manufacturer Amal – another Petrobras contractor – received bankruptcy protection with the help of Siqueira Castro Advogados.
Counsel to Group Inepar
Partners Thomas Benes Felsberg and Paulo Fernando Campana Filho, and associates Clara Moreira Azzoni, Pedro Henrique Torres Bianchi, Eduardo Luiz Kawakami, Thiago Dias Costa, Karina Ferraz Deorio and Rafael Campedelli Andrade
Counsel to Deloitte Brasil
Partners Leonardo Morato and Adriana Maria Dias and associate José Guilherme and Botelho Costa
Fonte: Latin Lawyer on-line em 21.5.2015.