Private equity firm TPG Capital and Chinese equipment vendor ZTE are evaluating investments in financially-stricken Brazilian telecoms operator Oi, two people with direct knowledge of the matter have informed Bloomberg. Banco Modal is advising the two potential investors the sources disclosed, requesting anonymity because the discussions are private. Elliott Management Corporation (EMC), the hedge fund controlled by US billionaire Paul Singer, and Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris have previously been strongly linked with bids for the debt-wracked telco, but no deals ever materialised.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Oi filed the largest bankruptcy request in Brazil’s history in June 2016, after failing to reach an agreement with creditors. The filing, which covered Oi and six subsidiaries, listed BRL65.4 billion (USD19.2 billion) of debt and the company chose judicial reorganisation to preserve the value of its holdings and to continue providing services to its customers.