Brazil’s OAS Investimentos SA, whose parent company is under creditor protection, agreed to sell a 24.4 percent stake in infrastructure firm Invepar to Brookfield Asset Management, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday, in a key step aimed at staving off bankruptcy.
Creditors of parent company Grupo OAS approved the sale of the Invepar stake under the condition that Brookfield dropped a plan to extend OAS a debtor-in-possession loan worth 800 million reais (US$210 million), said the source, who requested anonymity since the deal remains underway.
The source did not disclose the size of the sale. The Canadian firm will instead give OAS a so-called exit loan worth 600 million reais (US$158 million) that will be repaid with proceeds from the Invepar stake sale, the source added.
According to Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, which did not say how it obtained the information, Brookfield paid 1.35 billion reais for the stake in Invepar, formally known as Investimentos e Participações em Infraestrutura SA. OAS Investimentos hoped to fetch around 2 billion reais for the asset, executives told Reuters in August.
The bankruptcy court and antitrust authorities must still approve the transaction. OAS Investimentos as well as three Brazilian pension funds 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. Efforts to obtain a comment from Brookfield were unsuccessful.
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.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)
Photo courtesy of Invepar