Petrobras May Keep Braskem Stake

  • Petrobras may keep Braskem Stake (c) BraskemPetrobras may keep Braskem Stake (c) Braskem

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras is rethinking earlier plans to exit petrochemicals producer Braskem, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Rafael Grisolia told the news agency Bloomberg.

Grisiola said the company may even want to double its current 36.1% shareholding –  possibly thwarting LyondellBasell’s plans to take all of Braskem –  to have a buffer against fluctuating oil prices. The Petrobras stake is worth $1.1,billion.

The oil company based in Rio de Janeiro is currently reassessing its petrochemicals strategy after announcing in 2016 that it would put its Braskem stake up for sale.

Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht, which own the majority 39% stake in Braskem, is talking to LyondellBasell about selling its shares, but Grisolia noted that Petrobas has preferential rights to buy Odebrecht’s stake.

 The CFO said asset sales are less urgent for Petrobras at present, thanks to higher oil prices, cost cuts and the company’s success at reducing debt. He told Bloomberg that the decision, whichever way it goes, will depend on the offer price as well as strategic considerations. If the offer price is higher than internal valuations, Petrobras may decide not to exercise its preferential rights.

Petrobras has not received LyondellBasell’s offer and will have 60 days to make a decision when it does. The company needs to decide if petrochemicals are strategic," Grisolia said.

Braskem has a market value of $11.5 billion. The most recent reports see LyondellBasell’s potential bid for full ownership going as high as $19.5 billion.

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