Bloomberg — The main shareholders at embattled Brazilian retailer Americanas SA tentatively have agreed to retain their stake for about three years as part of a restructuring plan, said people familiar with the matter.
The precise lock-up period for the billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Sicupira is still under discussion and creditors are requiring it to last into 2027 as a guarantee shareholders will keep helping to rescue the company, the people said, asking not to be named because the negotiations are not public. Lemann, Telles and Sicupira declined to comment.
Americanas is negotiating a restructuring plan with banks after it disclosed a 20 billion real ($4.1 billion) accounting hole that doubled it’s debt, prompting a rush by creditors to demand early repayment and leading to a bankruptcy protection filling.
Under the plan, the billionaire trio would pour 10 billion reais immediately into the company, and consider an additional 2 billion reais in two separate installments — one in 2026 and another in 2027 — depending on the firm’s financial situation.
Lemann, Telles and Sicupira jointly own about 30% of Americanas and their money injection through capital increase would likely increase that stake, depending on the participation of other shareholders in a public offering.
Banks would also end up holding shares, since they are willing to accept a 10 billion reais package that includes a debt-to-equity swap, the people said. Those creditors would also have a lock-up period for at least part of their stake at Americanas, the people said.
A group of local bondholders working with lawyers from Sao Paulo-based Felsberg Advogados are preparing a document to demand a smaller discount on the face value of their debt during the reverse auction proposed as part of the plan, with 70% currently being the starting point. Those bondholders are also asking for the 10 billion reais package to have an option of pure debt non-convertible bonds.
Americanas is expected to reject the demand on the reverse auction discount as global bondholders bought debt at cheaper rates and may be attracted by the current offer, one of the people said. The request for a pure debt option is already being planned, the person said.
The plan also includes a clause preventing parties from suing each other. The right to sue the responsible party for a proved fraud would probably remain, one of the people said. A final agreement is expected in the next couple of weeks.
“Americanas remains committed with its creditors to build a consensus on the debt restructuring plan, which is still subject to adjustments,” the company said.
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