Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR)(NYSE:PBR) is planning to sell a majority stake in its fuel distribution subsidiary, Petrobras Distribuidora SA after failing to find interested buyers for a minority stake. According to regulatory filings, the embattled oil giant does not intend to keep more than 49% in the subsidiary with the upcoming sell-off.
Petrobras Stake Sell Off Plan
However, Petrobras intends to retain its dominant share of fuel-unit profits, even with the proposed sell off. It intends to achieve the same by retaining the largest stake of non-voting shares in Petrobras Distribuidora SA. The model according to the head of mergers and acquisition, Anelise Quintão Lara, could allow the parent company to issue the shares in a public offering in future.
Petrobras Distribuidora SA is Brazil largest gas station with some 7,500 outlets distributed across the country.
The sale of minority stakes fell through on Petrobras failing to receive the desired amount on the stakes up for sale. The company wanted between $9.21 and $12.28 billion for the stakes but went on to attract bids in the range of between $3.07 billion and $4.60 billion. Even though the company has never identified buyers, who placed bids for the minority stake it is reported they were mostly from Asia and Europe.
Asset Sell Push
Petrobras has already reached a sell and purchase agreement to sell its Chilean unit, Petrobras Chile Distribuición Ltda (PCD), to Southern Cross Group. The deal for 100% stake is believed to be worth $464 million. The transaction should close before the end of the year subject to satisfaction of various conditions.
Financial crisis compounded by a slump in oil prices has forced the oil giant to divest core assets in the recent past in a bid to stay afloat. The company is currently implementing a $15 billion asset sell-off plan that it hopes to complete by the end of the year.
A good chunk of proceeds from the selloff is to be used to offset the company’s massive debt. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR) is also hoping to use asset sales to help bolster investor confidence.