Petrobras is close to securing the sale of its 50% stake in PetroAfrica, according to a source. The transaction is being carried out jointly with BTG Pactual and Helios Investment Partners, which holds the remaining 50% of the company and are also divesting the asset.
According to a source, PetroAfrica is valued at US $ 2.6 billion, of which Petrobras would receive US $ 1.3 billion – referring to its 50% share in the asset. The other half is owned by BTG Pactual and Helios Investment Partners.
According to the same source, Swiss multinational Glencore and Dutch Vitol compete for the deal.
The sale of PetroAfrica represents yet another step in the reduction of Petrobras’ international participation. Since 2014, when Lava-Jato developments and the fall in the price of a barrel of oil plunged the state company into a financial crisis, the company interrupted the growth trajectory of its business abroad.
During this period, it disposed of a number of assets, such as fuel distribution in Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. The company also wants to dispose of the Pasadena refinery in Texas (USA). The company has already sold Nansei Sekiyu (Japan) and Bahía Blanca (Argentina).
In disbanding the African company, Petrobras marks a new breakthrough in its divestment program. If the transaction is confirmed, the state-owned company may exceed a quarter of its target, at a time when the company faces some difficulties in meeting its commitment to reach US $ 21 billion by 2017-2018.
With the deal, Petrobras could reach US $ 5.9 billion in assets sold between 2017 and 2018 – equivalent to 28% of the target.
Last week, Petrobras announced the suspension of the sale of its refineries, the Associated Gas Company (TAG) and the Araucária Fertilizer Plant (PR), after Federal Supreme Court (STF) Minister Ricardo Lewandowski granted an injunction prohibiting the sale of state control and its subsidiaries without congressional approval.
The expectation is that, even if Lewandowski’s decision is reviewed in the court floor, Petrobras loses at least one month, since the STF is in recess.
Since last year, the state company announced the sale of Azulão field, to Eneva (for $ 56.5 million); of 25% of the Roncador field (US $ 2.667 billion), to Equinor (formerly Statoil); of Paraguay’s fuel distribution assets (US $ 383 million); and opened the capital of BR Distribuidora, which guaranteed R $ 5 billion (US $ 1.5 billion at the time of the operation, in November last year).
To meet the divestment target, the oil company needs to accelerate ongoing negotiations to reach $ 15 billion. TAG and the refining poles of the South and Northeast regions, suspended, and Braskem are the assets with the highest potential for generating revenues. UBS estimates that only TAG could yield between $ 8 billion and $ 9 billion to the Brazilian oil company.
Petrobras has, however, a number of other divestments in progress. While on the one hand it suffered a setback with the decision of the minister Lewandowski, on the other it advanced with some negotiations.
Since June, it has begun the binding phase of the sale of the land field package of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe; initiated the non-binding phase of the sale of 50% of the Tartaruga Verde field and the III Field of Espadarte in deep waters in the Campos Basin; and the disinvestment of the Baúna field in shallow waters in the Santos Basin.
The state company also completed the sale of Roncador and Paraguay’s distribution assets and last week announced the signing of a letter of intent with China’s CNPC for a partnership to complete the Comperj refinery and revitalize the Marlim field, in the Campos Basin.
During that period, there were advances in the sale of the petrochemical company Braskem, with the announcement that Odebrecht began negotiations to negotiate its 38% stake in the company for the Dutch company LyondellBasell. Petrobras shares control of petrochemicals: it owns just over 36%. The oil company is entitled, established by shareholders’ agreement, preferably and tag along.
Other ongoing negotiations, at a binding stage, are the Pasadena refinery (in the United States); the package of shallow water fields of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Sergipe; the set of terrestrial fields of Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte; the fields of Piranema and Piranema Sul (Sergipe); the Maromba field (Campos Basin); and the land field package of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe.