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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 June 2019

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In brief: Brazil

* Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company announced, citing “some debt maturity and judicial attacks which would bring significant losses to the company”. Odebrecht’s overall debt totals more than R$98bn (US$25.2bn), of which the company will be looking to restructure R$51bn (US$13.1bn). The bankruptcy protection request excludes some of Odebrecht’s major subsidiaries, including petrochemicals company Braskem (which accounts for R$14.5bn of Odebrecht’s total debt), contractor OEC, and ethanol producer Atvos (which already filed for bankruptcy protection in May). Odebrecht has seen its operations take a hit since it was investigated in the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption investigation in 2015 and was found guilty of paying almost US$800m in bribes to public officials to secure state contracts across Latin America and beyond.