(Adds details of court decision, PwC declining to comment)
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - The judge overseeing the in-court restructuring of Brazilian phone company Oi SA dropped PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from the case because he believes the firm made accounting mistakes in the biggest bankruptcy filing in the country’s history, according to a court document reviewed by Reuters on Friday.
Judge Fernando Cesar Ferreira Viana said in his decision that he had lost trust in PwC after it asked for an extension and committed a “gross error” in compiling a list of Oi’s creditors. The judge appointed BDO Consultoria to replace PwC on the case, working in conjunction with law firm Arnoldo Wald.
Representatives for PwC in Brazil declined to comment.
The judge’s decision could delay Oi’s protracted restructuring process, since the list of its debts must be finalized before creditors can vote on its recovery plan.
Viana said in the ruling that he was suspending an April 4 deadline for PwC to submit the list.
“In case of this magnitude, the biggest in Latin America, which is already quite complex, I do not see any value in a performance not aimed at excellence. There is neither time nor space to waste with the performance of (PwC),” Viana wrote.
The judge said PwC had erroneously overcounted Oi’s debts by 2 billion reais ($641 million) because it had registered some creditors twice.
PwC has already received about 30 percent of the total remuneration agreed in its contract after working for eight months, Viana said, adding that it is not owed any further compensation. ($1 = 3.12 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes; editing by Daniel Flynn and Lisa Shumaker)