Exclusive: OSX, bondholders in talks to delay interest payment, sources say
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Jeb Blount
SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Tycoon Eike Batista's OSX Brasil SA (OSXB3.SA: Quote) and holders of the ailing shipbuilder's $500 million in bonds are in talks to delay an interest payment due on December 20, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.
A group of creditors who own about 95 percent of the debt, which matures in 2015, may waive the $11.6 million payment under certain conditions, said two of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. OSX filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11 after failing to get debt relief from creditors.
One of the conditions is that OSX give up control, but not ownership, of the specialized ship that secured the bonds - the OSX-3 - to a captain and crew under the control of creditors, a third source added. OSX declined to confirm whether the talks are taking place.
Parent company OSX and subsidiaries OSX Construção Naval SA and OSX Serviços Operacionais Ltda declared bankruptcy earlier this month. Meanwhile, OSX Leasing Ltd, the leasing unit through which the shipbuilder owns the ship securing the debt, was left out of the bankruptcy filing in Rio de Janeiro.
The debt was issued by OSX-3 Leasing BV, a unit of OSX Leasing.
The ship is one of three converted oil tankers known as floating, production, storage and offloading ships, or FPSOs, built to harness and process output from three Brazilian offshore fields owned by OSX sister company OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA (OGXP3.SA: Quote) - OSX's only significant source of revenue.
TUBARÃO AZUL FIELD
The crisis of investor confidence in Batista's industrial empire pushed Batista off his perch as the world's seventh-richest man and led to a struggle between shareholders, banks and bondholders over remaining assets. His unraveling has become a symbol of Brazil's economic woes after a decade-long boom made it one of the world's hottest emerging economies. Continued...