Petrobras CEO says U.S. lawsuit will not derail recovery plan

A U.S. class-action lawsuit over corruption at Brazil’s Petrobras will not overshadow the state oil company’s $74 billion, five-year plan to slash its crippling debt and refocus on its core business, chief executive officer Pedro Parente said on Wednesday.

In an interview in his offices in Rio de Janeiro, Parente also said Petrobras was pressing ahead with the sale of a stake in its fuels unit, BR Distribuidora, as part of a the divestment of $34.6 billion of non-core assets by the end of 2018.

A blueprint for the terms of the sale should be ready in about two weeks, Parente said, with domestic and foreign investors expressing interest in acquiring the stake.

Industry experts, however, have voiced concerns that U.S. legal issues could hinder Petrobras’ efforts to trim its $125 billion of debt, the largest in the oil industry.

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