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Grupo Infinity, the sugar-cane processing unit of Grupo Bertin, will get the final tranche of $75 million of financing next month from seven U.S. funds as it seeks to leave bankruptcy protection to tap cheaper local debt.
The Brazilian company received about half of the three-year loans at the end of May and is using them to roll over short- term debt and plant crops, Douglas Oliveira, president of Sao Paulo-based Grupo Infinity, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
Grupo Infinity filed a request in June to leave judicial recovery, which is similar to bankruptcy protection, after complying with two years of a restructuring plan, he said. The company has been unable to access low-cost government-financing lines that may carry annual interest rates of 5.5 percent since it sought refuge from its creditors in May 2009.
Government loans “are much cheaper and adequate for cane planting,” Oliveira said. “We’ll still have debt to pay but the status will be lifted. This could happen mid-August.”
Grupo Infinity has relied on loans from outside Brazil to replant sugar-cane fields and develop new ones for its mills which are operating under capacity, according to Oliveira, who’s cut 2,000 staff since arriving at the company in October 2010. Two of its six facilities have been shut due to lack of feedstock.
Grupo Bertin, a Lins, Brazil-based company, bought in March 2010 a 71 percent stake in Grupo Infinity, which was previously known as Infinity Bio-Energy.
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