Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR) has revealed that it intends to commence the sale of voting control of the BR Fuels unit known as Petrobras Distribuidora SA.
The company decided to go along with the decision after it failed to secure an ideal bidder for a large percentage of the stake. Petrobras now intends to maintain its voting capital over the unit at a maximum of 49%. It also intends to maintain a majority shareholding over the unit as indicated in a securities filing and the company’s comments during a conference call. The Brazilian firm will maintain 100% ownership of the preferred shares so that it can capitalize on opportunities that present themselves in the future.
Various firms such as Advent International and GP Investments Ltd have tried their shot at acquiring the stake but have fallen short of the requirements demanded by Petrobras. Some of the offers that have so far been brought forward average between 10 and 15 billion Brazilian Reais while the company expects a deal valued at 30 to 40 billion Reais. This is also not the first time that Petrobras has faced challenges when trying to dispose assets. Some of the problems that the firm has faced include low oil prices and depreciation of the assets.
The current sale is part of the company’s plan to dispose assets worth $15 billion before the end of the year so that it can trim down its debt portfolio. The firm plans to sell assets worth $43 billion by the end of 2018. Petrobras plans to pump the proceeds into restructuring plans. Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente recently stated in an interview that the firm might be planning to take various courses of action including the disposal of controlling stake in most of its units. The company announced on Friday that it will maintain a dominant share of profits from its oil units as one of its strategies of pushing towards good prices.