November 8, 2018 / 6:15 PM / in 13 days

Japan's Mitsui in talks to take over suburban Brazil rail company: sources

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Japanese group Mitsui & Co Ltd is in talks to acquire suburban Brazil railway company SuperVia SA after a key creditor, state-owned development bank BNDES, blocked other offers for the company, said two sources with knowledge of the matter.

One of the sources said a binding proposal led by Starboard Restructuring Partners was rejected earlier this week by the development bank, because the proposal would not transfer the SuperVia debt with BNDES to the acquirer.

Now Mitsui, already a shareholder in Odebrecht Mobilidade, a holding company that controls Rio de Janeiro-based SuperVia, with a 40 percent stake, is in talks to take over SuperVia and assume the debt with the development bank.

Talks to sell the suburban rail company are being led by Brazilian creditors of conglomerate Odebrecht SA as the corruption-ensnared group faces pressure to sell assets and reduce debt, Reuters reported.

Another proposal by United Arab Emirates’ sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Co PJSC was rejected.

Odebrecht, Mitsui and Starboard did not immediately comment on the matter.

O Globo newspaper said in a report earlier this week Mitsui was being considered as the most probable candidate to acquire SuperVia.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer

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