Brazilian telecoms holding company Telemar Norte Leste (TMAR) yesterday launched a USD1 billion, ten-year bond sale, with traders suggesting that demand for the bonds outstripped supply by a ratio of 5:1. Last month the group revealed plans to raise BRL12 billion (USD6.82 billion) in equity funding through a capital increase of common and preferred shares. The transaction, which will be priced at BRL38.5462 per common share and BRL28.2634 per preferred share, will see TMAR and other TNL shareholders subscribing to the capital increase in proportion to their respective stakes in the company, it said. In addition, Portugal Telecom (PT) will subscribe the pre-emptive rights that were not exercised by other shareholders of TNL, preferably in common shares, in the amount equivalent of up to BRL2 billion. TMAR is the holding company of TNL, which owns Telemar Norte Leste (Oi). It is understood the capital increase is part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by PT and the Oi group that lays down the principles for the development of a strategic partnership between the two entities. The MoU will enable PT to reach a total direct and indirect ownership of 22.38% in fixed line operator Oi with a maximum estimated investment of BRL8.4 billion.