Just a few days after Brazilian telco Oi requested urgent precautionary relief from the 7th Corporate Court of the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, the country's regulator has stepped in.
The request from Oi has led to the country's national telecommunications agency Anatel (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes) to set up a working group to monitor the debt-ridden operator.
This group has been set up by Anatel to monitor the operational and financial situation of the company.
The working group will evaluate and propose measures to deal with regarding the potential discontinuation of Oi's operations.
According to Anatel, if there is a bankruptcy scenario it's keen to maintain the provision of fixed voice services, by the telco’s Servico de Telefonia Fixa Comutado (STFC) license.
On top of this, Oi is expected to notify the working group should there be any changes to its equity interest in neutral network fiber firm V.tal, as there's been recent speculation that Oi could sell its share this asset to ease its debts.
Last week the company asked the courts to look into a 'potential renegotiation of certain debts’, with the operator desperate to avoid bankruptcy.
The future for Oi remains uncertain, just weeks after the company exited bankruptcy protection for the first time in six years, bringing a close to a restructuring period that began in 2016.
Founded in 1998 and formerly known as Telemar, Oi filed for bankruptcy back in 2016 for R$65 billion (US$19bn) and has been looking to sell its biggest assets since. The company was put in what was then Brazil's biggest-ever bankruptcy protection.
In December 2022, it was revealed that Oi had paid R$4.6 billion ($871.43 million) debt with state development bank BNDES, plus some other loans.
Its mobile business was sold for R$16.5bn ($3.23bn) back in 2020 and split between Brazil's three big mobile operators TIM, Telefonica, and America Movil, with TIM picking up the most assets. The deal closed early last year.