UPDATE 1-Brazil appeals court judge lets Odebrecht creditors seize Braskem shares

(Adds details on judge decision and context) By Carolina Mandl SAO PAULO, July 11 () – A Brazilian appeals court judge has allowed bank creditors of Odebrecht SA to take possession of shares in petrochemical company Braskem SA pledged as collateral for loans they made to the corruption-ensnared conglomerate, according to a document seen by . The new injunction, granted on Wednesday in favor of Brazil’s largest lender, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, overturns a ruling banning any sale or possession of Braskem shares by banks. State-controlled lender Banco do Brasil has filed a similar request. Odebrecht filed for bankruptcy protection in June, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13.57 billion) of debt, in what would be one of Latin America’s largest-ever in-court debt restructurings, after the group was caught in a sweeping political corruption investigation. In its bankruptcy filing, Odebrecht asked the judge to bar banks from taking possession of shares in the group’s crown jewel, its controlling stake in Braskem, pledged as collateral to creditors. Odebrecht has a 38.3% stake in Braskem, but 50.1% of its voting shares. The conglomerate said Braskem would be essential to its restructuring, as it was Odebrecht’s main source of revenues in 2018. In his decision, judge Alexandre Lazzarini said that Braskem shares had been pledged as collateral to loans through a lien, and therefore cannot be considered as Odebrecht’s assets. It is not clear if banks will also be allowed to sell Braskem shares immediately. Odebrecht and Itau did not immediately comment on the matter. ($1 = 3.7588 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Additional reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Christian Plumb, Richard Chang and James Dalgleish)Our Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.