Venezuela’s opposition has hired veteran debt lawyer Lee Buchheit to help restructure the country’s more than $150 billion debt burden, suggesting it could take a tough approach to dealing with investors holding defaulted bonds, Reuters reported. Buchheit, a former Cleary Gottlieb attorney who has represented several governments in debt talks with bond investors, published an academic article last year suggesting ways for a future Venezuela government to minimize debt repayments.
Brazilian telecommunications firm Oi SA reported a first-quarter net profit of 679 million reais ($170 million), in a quarter its revenue continued to fall, Reuters reported. This compares to a profit of 30.5 billion reais in the first quarter of 2018 after Oi reached an agreement with creditors in an in-court debt reorganization of the company. A debt for equity swap and a new capital injection were approved last year. The capital raise was completed in January.
Brazilian airline Azul SA on Monday made a new attempt to purchase some of bankrupt airline Avianca Brasil’s most coveted routes, offering $145 million and reversing a decision not to participate, Reuters reported. Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy protection in December, setting off a fierce battle for its airport slots, the rights to land and depart in crowded airports, which were expected to be sold at a bankruptcy auction that was suspended indefinitely.
Brazilian airline Azul SA has registered to participate in a bankruptcy auction for the assets of struggling carrier Avianca Brasil scheduled for next week, potentially walking back a previous decision not to participate, Reuters reported. The airline confirmed through a representative that they had registered, although he said no decision had been made whether to actually place a bid. The bankruptcy auction is set for Tuesday.
Hobbled by recession and one of the world’s highest inflation rates, Argentina may be lurching toward the next in a series of economic crises afflicting the country over the last 70 years, Reuters reported. Consumer prices streaked more than 54 percent higher in the 12 months through March in defiance of central bank efforts to control inflation, fueling poverty and further damaging a business climate blighted by nose-bleed high borrowing rates. The peso, which lost 50.5 percent of its value against the U.S.
When investors dumped Argentine bonds en masse just as copies of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s autobiography Sincerely began to fly off the shelves last week, it gave new meaning to the term “bestseller,” the Financial Times reported. The asset sell-off took place as all emerging markets were suffering from the strengthening US dollar.
SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to invest about $230 million in Brazilian online lender Creditas as the firm expands investments in Latin America, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. SoftBank is planning to do the deal via a joint investment from its Vision Fund and newly created Innovation Fund, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. No final decisions have been made, and SoftBank may still decide against the transaction, they said. SoftBank and Creditas declined to comment.
Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza SA said in a filing on Monday it agreed to buy online shoe retailer Netshoes Ltd for approximately $62 million, Reuters reported. Magazine Luiza offered to pay $2 a share. Rival Brazilian retailer B2W had said earlier in April it was considering the acquisition of Netshoes. Netshoes stocks ended 3.9 percent down on Monday at $2.65. Shares have fallen by 85.3 percent since its initial public offering two years ago, as the company has struggled to turn a profit.
Colombia's Avianca Holdings SA said on Monday it is experiencing "reputational harm" from its association with Avianca Brasil, an air carrier that licenses its name and has canceled over 1,000 flights amid a bankruptcy restructuring, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Both Aviancas belong to the same family-owned business group, led by brothers German and Jose Efromovich, but are maintained as separate companies.