Brazil’s OAS creditors, Brookfield near Invepar deal, sources say: Reuters

Nov 10 (Reuters) – Creditors of Grupo OAS , the Brazilian engineering firm under creditor protection, have preliminary agreed to sell a 24.4 percent stake in infrastructure firm Invepar to Brookfield Asset Management Inc, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.

Under terms of the plan, creditors agreed to sell the asset under the condition that Brookfield dropped a plan to extend OAS a debtor-in-possession loan worth 800 million reais ($210 million), said the first source, who requested anonymity since the deal remains underway.

The Canadian firm will instead give OAS a so-called exit loan worth 600 million reais ($158 million) that will be repaid with proceeds from the Invepar stake sale, the first source added. The transaction still requires creditor approval in an assembly, that of the bankruptcy court running the Grupo OAS process and three major pension funds that are OAS’s partners in Invepar, the second source added.

Neither source disclosed the size of the sale. OAS and Brookfield declined to comment.

According to Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, which did not say how it obtained the information, Brookfield offered to pay about 1.35 billion reais for the stake in Invepar, formally known as Investimentos e Participações em Infraestrutura SA. OAS Investimentos, the unit that managed the Invepar stake for OAS, hoped to fetch at least 2.2 billion reais for the asset, executives told Reuters in August.

OAS Investimentos as well as pension funds Previ, Funcef and Petros were joint partners in Invepar, which has the right to operate São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport.

Brookfield had secured the right to top any bid from rival parties interested in OAS’s Invepar stake, namely local buyout firm GP Investments Ltd and France’s Vinci SA , sources told Reuters in June.

In March, Grupo OAS filed for bankruptcy protection in a São Paulo court to facilitate the restructuring of 8 billion reais in debt owed by nine units. The bankruptcy petition came after Grupo OAS struggled with the impact of a corruption probe at state-controlled oil producer Petróleo Brasileiro SA and other state firms that undercut access to financing.

An economic downturn and a slumping currency also took a toll on Grupo OAS.