Brazil’s state oil company to sell Nigerian unit, Petrobras Africa

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There seems to be another sell-off by an oil major as Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA said it is leading an effort to sell Petrobras Africa, registered as Petrobras Oil and Gas BV.

Brazil’s state-controlled oil corporation is looking at selling its 50% stake, a move already backed by its major shareholders namely: Grupo BTG Pactual SA and Helios Investments, major shareholders in Nigeria’s Interswitch group.

According to Reuters, the Brazilian oil company said it has been joined in the sale by BTG Pactual E&P BV, a subsidiary of investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA, and Helios Investments, who will offer their respective 40 percent and 10 percent stakes.

Grupo BTG Pactual tried to sell its stake separately earlier this year. It held talks with a group of Nigerian investors but failed to reach an agreement, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. BTG Pactual did not immediately comment.

Petrobras, the world’s most indebted oil company and focus of a massive corruption scandal, is seeking to offload $21 billion in assets through 2018 and has moved aggressively to cut debt.

According to its profile, Petrobras Africa participates in two deepwater oil exploration blocks off the coast of Nigeria that contain the Akpo and Agbami producing fields and are operated by Total SA and Chevron Corp respectively.

See below, the official statement from Petrobras:

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras informs that it has initiated the opportunity disclosure stage (“Teaser”) related to the sale of 100% equity interest in Petrobras Oil & Gas B.V. (“POGBV”), a joint venture formed by Petrobras (50%), BTG Pactual E&P B.V. (40%) and Helios Investment Partners (10%). Petrobras is leading this sale process.

POGBV owns interests in two world-class deepwater offshore blocks in Nigeria, which contain the producing fields Akpo and Agbami, the ongoing oil development Egina, with first production expected in late 2018, as well as the Preowei discovery, which is currently being appraised.

The giant Akpo and Egina fields are operated by Total and Agbami by Chevron. POGBV’s net entitlement reserves amount to approximately 204 million bbl with current production of 48 thousand bbl/day and expectation to reach around 75 thousand bbl/day by 2019.

The Teaser containing key information about this opportunity, as well as the objective criteria for the selection of prospective purchasers are available in Petrobras website:

Besides the Teaser, the main subsequent phases of the company’s divestment project will be disclosed, as detailed below:

• Start of non-binding phase (if applicable);
• Start of binding phase;
• Concession of exclusive negotiation (if applicable);
• Transaction approval by Senior Management (Executive Board and Board of Directors) and signature of contracts;
• Closing.

The disclosure to the market herein is in compliance with Petrobras’ divestment methodology, which was reviewed and approved by our Executive Board, and is aligned with the guidelines of the Federal Accounting Court (TCU – Tribunal de Contas da União).

This material is being provided pursuant to Brazilian regulatory requirements, does not constitute an offering, under the U.S. securities laws, and is not a solicitation, invitation or offer to buy or sell any securities. The information on our website, which is accessible through hyperlink resulting from this URL, is not and shall not be deemed part of this report on Form 6-K.