SAO PAULO, June 14 (Reuters) - Brazil telecommunications industry watchdog Anatel has asked a bankruptcy court to exclude the 11 billion reais ($3.3 billion) in debt it is owed by phone carrier Oi SA from the purview of the carrier’s in-court reorganization plan, O Estado de S. Paulo said on Wednesday. Anatel President Juarez Quadros told Estado that the request had been presented to the judge in charge of Oi’s bankruptcy protection case last Friday. The debt corresponds to back fines and levies that Oi failed to honor before filing for creditor protection on June 20 last year.
According to Estado, Quadros said excluding the Anatel debt from the Oi process will prevent the agency from accepting losses that often go north of 70 percent in similar cases.
Oi Chief Executive Officer Marco Schroeder told Reuters on June 9 that he will present an amended restructuring plan this month and put it to vote at an assembly of creditors by around September.
Anatel did not immediately confirm Quadros’ comments.
Oi’s reorganization process, which began almost a year ago and remains Brazil’s largest bankruptcy protection case to date, has been marked by a series of disputes between creditors and shareholders over the fate of Brazil’s No. 4 wireless carrier.
Anatel has repeatedly threatened to take the carrier’s licenses over should Oi stakeholders fail to reach an agreement.
$1 = 3.3157 reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by W Simon