RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 2 - Brazil's state-controlled oil
producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA is considering
selling its remaining stake in gas station chain BR
Distribuidora if its stock recovers to 26 reais a
share, three people with knowledge of the information said.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the
sale process, Petrobras has agreed on a target stock price range
for the sale of its 37.5% stake, worth 10.3 billion reais ($1.9
billion), considering its current market price.
The share sale by Petrobras, as the producer is known, would
effectively end government participation over the fuel
distributor, which would become a corporation with no major
controlling stake holder.
A share sale around 25 reais apiece has not been ruled out,
said two of the people, who requested anonymity because the sale
discussions are confidential. While executives have agreed on a
range at which they would sell, no hard target has been set.
Petrobras and BR Distribuidora declined to comment.
BR Distribuidora stocks recently peaked at 24.33 reais, in a
16.4% intraday rise on Jan. 26, after the board announced Wilson
Ferreira Jr. would take the chief executive post at Latin
America's largest gas station chain after leaving as CEO of
state-run power company Eletrobras.
Petrobras' move to unload its BR stake is part of a wider
government effort to have the oil company focus on deep-water
production and open Brazil's oil-related markets to private
players - from fuels, to natural gas and fertilizing plants.
Petrobras Chief Executive Roberto Castello Branco said last
week during a webinar that he was awaiting an improvement in
price conditions to resume the share sale process, which stalled
early during the COVID-19 pandemic. BR shares hit a year high of
29.93 in February 2020 before losing about half their value the
This would be the third major share sale by Petrobras of BR
Distribuidora, which was fully state controlled until three
years ago. Shares were sold at 15 reais apiece in its initial
public offering, in December 2017, when Petrobras sold a 29%
BR was effectively privatized in 2019 through a follow-on
operation, with shares sold at 24.50 reais. Petrobras then
raised 9.63 billion reais https://www.reuters.com/article/us-petrobras-distri-privatization-idUSKCN1UI1YU
($2.55 billion) by reducing its position to 37.5% from 71%.
($1 = 5.3554 reais)
(Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)