Brazil conglomerate Odebrecht files for bankruptcy protection

Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13 billion) in debt, according to a statement.

SAO PAULO, June 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13 billion) in debt, according to a statement.

It would be one of Latin America's largest-ever in-court debt restructurings.

The bankruptcy filing comes after years of struggles for Odebrecht, the biggest of the Brazilian engineering groups caught in a sweeping political corruption investigation that rippled across Latin America.

The debt restructuring does not include petrochemical producer Braskem SA BRKM5.SA, sugar and ethanol subsidiary Atvos Agroindustrial Participacoes SA, construction unit Odebrecht Engenharia e Construcao (OEC), oil company Ocyan, shipmaker Enseada, Odebrecht Transport or homebuilder Incorporadora OR.

($1 = 3.8925 reais)

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves Writing by Gabriela Mello Editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O'Brien)

((brad.c.haynes@tr.com; +55 11 5644 7725; Reuters Messaging: brad.c.haynes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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