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Oi reports wider loss as mobile customers flee for bigger rivals



Oi SA, Brazil’s most indebted phone company, said its first-quarter loss widened as customers jumped ship for bigger competitors in the wireless segment.
Oi posted a net loss of 1.64 billion reais, according to a statement sent to Brazil’s securities regulator Thursday. That compares with a loss of 880.7 million reais projected by analysts, the average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue fell 4 percent from last year to 6.76 billion reais, which compares with estimates for 6.6 billion reais.
Oi, which hired PJT Partners in February for advice on how to manage its finances, said debt totaled 49.4 billion reais at the end of the first quarter, down from 55 billion reais in the previous quarter. The company had 8.53 billion reais in cash.
Oi said in April it entered into a non-disclosure agreement with Moelis & Co., which is advising a group of bondholders, in a first step toward negotiations over restructuring terms. On May 11, Aurelius Capital Management LP increased pressure on the company, claiming one of its units will potentially be in default if it doesn’t fix breaches of debt covenants by May 29.
The Rio de Janeiro-based operator, which is responsible for part of the country’s obsolete landline system, is cutting 2,000 employees, or 10 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs, according to a person familiar to the matter.

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