OAS files for bankruptcy in latest fallout from Petrobras graft probe

OAS files for bankruptcy in latest fallout from Petrobras graft probe

San Francisco: A Brazilian building firm filed for bankruptcy protection for nine of its units in a Sao Paulo state court on Tuesday in another ripple from the Petrobras graft scandal.

The Grupo OAS conglomerate are one of numerous firms in the construction industry with ties to the disgraced state oil giant to have been caught up in the corruption investigation. They are accused of making bribes to Petrobras executives and politicians for contracts with the energy company.

As the probe continues, tainted building firms have been denied the right to bid for new contracts and have found it hard to borrow or renegotiate loans. With debts growing and unable to make domestic interest payments, OAS took the decision to file in the hope of salvaging as many jobs as possible.

After the request for bankruptcy protection is approved, the company will have 60 days to present its restructuring plan to creditors while existing debt will be frozen and renegotiated.

OAS will sell off some of its assets including its 24.4% stake in Invepar which controls concessions at Sao Paulo`s Guarulhos airport and in two football stadiums used in the 2014 World Cup: Arena das Dunas in Natal and Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

The company has a total debt of 9.2 billion reais ($2.8 bn), of which about 8bn reais are being restructured

OAS executives have been charged by prosecutors with money laundering, corruption and criminal conspiracy.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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