Once dubbed a “national champion” in the field of telecommunications, Oi Telecom has become a cautionary tale on the perils of mismanagement and crony capitalism. Thanks to close ties with politicians during the Workers’ Party era, Oi received billions to expand beyond its means, in a strategy that ended up biting it on its rear end in 2016—when the company filed for court-supervised recovery. At the time, it was the largest filing of its kind, with Oi unable to pay debts amounting to BRL 65 billion (the figure would be topped this year by another scandal-riddled company, Odebrecht).
Three years after its darkest chapter—during which the company went through a rotating door of CEOs—Oi has survived the harsh recovery process; though not without having to deal with disgruntled shareholders and creditors. It now hopes to convince investors that it is ready to turn a new leaf. But will investors ever trust the company again?