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Petrobras distributor sale approved despite chairman opposition

18th August 2015

Petrobras chairman Murilo Ferreira was outvoted by his board as it elected to sell a stake in BR Distribuidora SA

Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro
Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro

The board of Petrobras voted 8-2 to sell a stake of 25 per cent or more in BR Distribuidora on 8 August, according to minutes revealed to Reuters on Monday.

Petrobras chairman Murilo Ferreira was reportedly one of the two voting against the divestment, along with union representative Deyvid Bacelar.

Ferreira is said to have opposed on the grounds that further decisions needed to be made regarding a future business plan for BR Distribuidora and hiring sales and marketing professionals. 

The state-owned company is reportedly seeking to sell $15.1bn of “non-essential” assets in 2015, in a bid to reduce debts of US$132.

BR Distribuidora, which controls Brazil's largest gasoline, ethanol and diesel service-station network, is set to be floated before the end of the year subject to approval from Brazil's CVM securities industry watchdog.

The distribution unit was recently valued at US$10bn by UBS Securities.

Bacelar is reported to have said that market conditions do not currently favour a sale and that management changes and partnerships could deliver better returns than an IPO.