Mexico’s Alemans Plans Investment for Controlling Stake of Oceanografia

File photo shows an Oceanografia Diving Support Vessel services a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy Oceanografia
File photo shows an Oceanografia Diving Support Vessel services a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy Oceanografia

By Ben Bain

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — Mexico’s Aleman family, owner of the airline Interjet, said it reached agreement to make a capital injection into bankrupt oil-services provider Oceanografia SA to obtain a controlling stake.

The agreement was reached with Oceanografia’s shareholders, according to Gabriela Jimenez, Grupo Aleman’s director of institutional relations. She declined to disclose the amount in a telephone interview yesterday.

Oceanografia, seized by the Mexican government in February after a $400 million fraud allegation by Citigroup Inc., is operating under bankruptcy protection as officials and creditors devise a reorganization plan. Any capital investment or equity transfer would have to get approval from a majority of creditors and the judge in the case, Felipe Consuelo Soto.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration says it wants to preserve Oceanografia as a going concern because it’s an important job provider and a critical contractor to the government oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos. Ciudad del Carmen- based Oceanografia operates a fleet of ships that provide services to the offshore oil industry.

Creditors in the bankruptcy case include New York-based Citigroup as well as holders of the company’s defaulted bonds due in 2015.

Oceanografia owner Amado Yanez posted bail about four months ago after Mexican authorities detained him for allegedly misusing loans to the company.

Jorge Betancourt, an investor relations officer with Oceanografia, referred questions on an agreement with Grupo Aleman to Mexico’s Asset Transfer and Administration Service, known as SAE, which is overseeing the company on behalf of the federal government.

Marcia Fuentes, a senior official at SAE, said she hadn’t received any information regarding a deal.

–With assistance from Brendan Case in Mexico City and Jose Enrique Arrioja in New York.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.