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Brazil watchdog lifts suspension of Oi offer, paves way for merger


By Joan Magee and Guillermo Parra-Bernal NEW YORK/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazils securities industry watchdog CVM on Tuesday lifted a suspension on Grupo Oi SAs 6 billion real ($2.7 billion) share offering, paving the way for the Brazilian telecommunications companys merger with Portugal Telecom SGPS SA. Regulators last week halted the offering after Oi Chief Executive Officer Zeinal Bava breached a mandatory quiet period ahead of the transaction. Grupo BTG Pactual SA, the bank handling the deal, and Oi agreed to urge investors to ignore Bavas remarks, a condition CVM said in a statement was enough to lift the suspension. The decision takes effect past midnight and allows Oi to launch the offering within hours. The offering is the backbone of Ois planned capital increase of 14 billion reais that will allow it to tie up with Portugal Telecom, its biggest shareholder.

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