| SAO PAULO
SAO PAULO May 11 TPI Triunfo Participações &
Investimentos SA and creditors are discussing terms
of a restructuring plan allowing the debt-laden Brazilian
infrastructure firm to retain cash from potential asset sales
while it downsizes further, three people familiar with the
Triunfo's sale of a 50 percent stake in a port to partner
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co SA is ready, one source said. An
announcement hinges on whether state development bank BNDES and
other Triunfo creditors agree not to use proceeds from the sale
to get their loans repaid immediately, the person said.
Triunfo is negotiating terms of the restructuring proposal
with creditors individually, two of the people said this week.
While there is no exact timetable for presentation of a
definitive plan, odds that it could happen over the next two
weeks or so are rising, the same people added.
Neither Triunfo nor banks want the highway, airport and port
operator to file for bankruptcy protection, the people said.
Triunfo has struggled with the impact of Brazil's three-year
recession and a 3.5 billion-real ($1.11 billion) debt burden.
The situation reflects how Brazilian debt restructurings
have gained in complexity in recent months, as banks ask more
corporate borrowers to put themselves up for sale or dispose of
assets as a condition to rework their loans. Such a tack has
slowed merger announcements in Brazil.
A spokeswoman for São Paulo-based Triunfo declined to
comment. The media office of BNDES did not immediately comment.
One key goal of the plan is convincing BNDES to suspend the
foreclosure of an 800 million-real loan to Triunfo, which the
company defaulted on late last year, two of the people said.
Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Santander Brasil
SA and state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA are among
Triunfo's creditors. Others include Banco Votorantim SA and
Banco Pine SA.
Triunfo borrowed aggressively at the start of the decade to
fuel expansion in toll roads, electricity and airports. Still,
Brazil's worst-ever recession has eroded profitability at the
company and at least 1 billion reais of Triunfo's debt will
mature by the end of next year.
Without an agreement with creditors, Triunfo could risk the
completion of future asset sales, including stakes in an airport
and several toll roads. An exit from the port known as Terminal
Portuário de Navegantes SA would speed up Triunfo's downsizing,
analysts at Eleven Financial Research said recently.
Reuters reported on March 27 that MSC was likely to exercise
a right of first refusal to buy Triunfo's stake in the port
terminal known as PortoNave for an equivalent of 12 times
expected operational earnings.
The Geneva-based media office of MSC did not immediately
reply to a request for comment.
Apart from PortoNave, Triunfo is looking to sell stakes in
companies running Brazil's Viracopos international airport and a
hydropower dam. While news of the PortoNave sale drove Triunfo's
shares to an 11-month high in early April, the stock has since
suffered amid a selloff.
Shares are down 29 percent since April 4, when they hit an
intraday high of 5.04 reais.
($1 = 3.1563 reais)
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Daniel Flynn
and Lisa Shumaker)