Brazil's Oi launches $10 billion stock offering

SAO PAULO, April 3 Thu Apr 3, 2014 7:03am EDT

SAO PAULO, April 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian phone carrier Grupo Oi SA launched a $10 billion stock offering on Thursday, a key step in its planned merger with Portugal Telecom SGPS SA.

Under the plan, Grupo Oi said it would issue up to 5.75 billion shares. Including the overallotment and greenshoe options, the capital increase could reach about 22 billion reais ($10 billion), based on Wednesday's closing price.

The pricing date was set for April 28, and the shares are expected to start trading on April 30.

The company expects to raise fresh capital to beef up CorpCo, the new entity after it combines with Portugal Telecom.

Executives at Grupo Oi SA and Portugal Telecom say the tie-up would give the resulting entity more clout to compete in Brazil with bigger rivals such as Spain's Telefonica SA , Telecom Italia SpA's TIM ParticipaƧƵes SA and Mexico's America Movil SAB. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Silvio Cascione; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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