Petrobras Plans to Sell Braskem Stake by End-2018 in Asset Dump

  • Producer has 47% of voting stock in petrochemicals maker
  • Business plan calls for $19.5 billion in asset sales 2017-2018

Petroleo Brasileiro SA plans to sell its stake in petrochemicals producer Braskem SA before the end of 2018 to help fund its business plan and reduce debt, Chief Financial Officer Ivan Monteiro said.

Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based state-run producer is known, has included the Braskem stake in a plan to raise $19.5 billion through divestitures in 2017 and 2018, and is in the initial phases of the sale process, Monteiro said in an interview Friday.

“We have intentions to leave this asset, but we don’t have a date,” Monteiro said at one of the company’s offices in downtown Rio.

Petrobras is retreating from peripheral businesses such as biofuels, petrochemicals and fertilizers to focus on its most profitable oil and natural gas projects in deep waters of the South Atlantic. The company is showing investors that it has the ability to meet its asset sale targets after raising almost $10 billion from such deals since the start of 2015, Monteiro said. His comments came on the same day Petrobras agreed to sell a gas distribution unit for $5.2 billion, its biggest asset deal on record.

In October a group of Petrobras officials including Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente will travel to cities in the U.S. and Europe to meet with equity and fixed income investors to present the business plan and show the progress the company has made in streamlining the business, Monteiro said.

Petrobras is Braskem’s second-largest shareholder, with about 47 percent of voting stock and 36 percent of its total capital, according to the petrochemical company’s website.

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