Brazil

Brazil’s recent change of government has further delayed the long-awaited finalization of LyondellBasell Industries NV’s plan to buy Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA, three sources with knowledge of the matter said this week, Reuters reported. Netherlands-based LyondellBasell first said it had entered into exclusive talks to acquire control of Braskem from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA in June. However, the deal’s price depends on a long-term naphtha supply contract with state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which also owns shares in Braskem.

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Brazil’s aviation regulator said on Thursday it was going to ground 10 planes operated by Avianca Brasil, 20 percent of its fleet, prompting the carrier to go to court seeking to prevent the decision being enforced, Reuters reported. The regulator, known as ANAC, said it was acting at the request of one of various lessors involved in a festering legal dispute with Avianca Brasil, which filed for bankruptcy last month after falling behind with lease payments.

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Corruption-ensnared Odebrecht SA has proposed that creditors take over its sugar and ethanol unit, Atvos Agroindustrial Participacoes SA, in exchange for reducing Odebrecht’s huge debt load, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. The move is the latest sign of the radical way in which Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, best known for its engineering and construction operations, is remaking itself to renegotiate 70 billion reais (£15 billion) in consolidated debt, Reuters reported.

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Brazilian carrier Avianca Brasil will trim its fleet and return some leased planes to owners trying to repossess them, a lawyer for the airline said on Monday. The attorney, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, also said the aircraft lessors had agreed to grant the airline 15 more days to fly the planes while renegotiating delinquent lease payments, Reuters reported. The lawyer who spoke after a closed hearing in bankruptcy court said that details were not final.

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Aircastle is set to repossess 10 jets from Avianca Brasil, the country’s No. 4 airline, after a bankruptcy hearing on Monday, a source familiar with the matter said, potentially disrupting flights for thousands of passengers, Reuters reported. The 10 Airbus A320 planes represent 20 percent of Avianca Brasil’s current fleet, according to data provided by Brazil’s aviation regulator, raising doubts about the carrier’s ability to fly its full flight schedule if the aircraft are seized. And it could lose more planes in the future.

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Brazilian telecom group Oi SA has agreed to end all legal with a subsidiary of shareholder Pharol SGPS SA, the company said on Wednesday, paving the way for its long-awaited operating turnaround, Reuters reported. The agreement covers all litigation against the parties in Brazil, Portugal and other jurisdictions, Oi said in a securities filing.

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A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Wednesday suspended a presidential decree establishing rules for Petroleo Brasileiro SA to sell upstream assets, casting a pall over the state-controlled oil company’s ambitious divestiture program, Reuters reported. Justice Marco Aurélio Mello granted an injunction in a lawsuit brought by the leftist Workers Party to the Supreme Court, suspending a decree signed by President Michel Temer in April, the justice told Reuters.

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Brazilian airline Azul SA is not currently engaged in negotiations for a possible acquisition offer for struggling Avianca Brasil, said Azul Chief Executive John Rodgerson, Reuters reported. But he acknowledged there could be space for a possible deal with Brazil’s fourth largest airline, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week. "Their bankruptcy protection case is very recent. It is possible that, in the future, we take a look at it, but right now there is nothing,” he said, nothing he will watch the “natural course” of the case.
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Brazil’s fourth-largest airline, Avianca Brasil, has been in talks for a much-needed cash injection since before it filed for bankruptcy on Monday, German Efromovich, whose family controls the carrier, told Reuters. Efromovich, the controlling shareholder of better-known airline Avianca Holdings SA said in a phone interview on Thursday that he was negotiating with funds, which he declined to identify, Reuters reported. He also declined to elaborate on the value and whether the transaction would be debt or equity.

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A Brazilian bankruptcy judge late on Tuesday granted a request by the country’s fourth-largest airline, Avianca Brasil, to suspend lawsuits seeking repossession of at least 14 of its aircraft, according to a court document, Reuters reported. Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, after aircraft lessors sued and won initial victories in seeking to repossess the planes. The airline has 494 million reais ($129 million) in debt, according to a court filing that is under seal but was seen by Reuters.

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