Unions go to court against sale of Petrobras refinery – 02/21/2021 – Market

The sale of the Petrobras refinery in Bahia, the second largest in the country, ended up in court. The FUP (Single Federation of Oil Workers) and Sindipetro (Oil Workers Union of Bahia) filed a lawsuit to have the transaction suspended immediately.

The understanding is that the sale will take place at a price below the market informed by Petrobras. The action was also brought by Senator Jacques Wagner (PT), former governor of Bahia.

The unions use a study by Ineep (Institute of Strategic Studies of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels) that shows the true value between R $ 17 billion and R $ 21 billion. BTG Pactual, on the other hand, stipulates a negotiation for 35% (R $ 5 billion) less than due.

On February 8, the oil company reported that the Mubadala fund made the best bid in the competition for the refinery, with an offer of US $ 1.65 billion (about R $ 8.8 billion, at the current price).

According to Petrobras, the completion of the sale of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam), located in São Francisco do Conde, still depends on the approval of competent bodies.

If confirmed, it will be the state’s first refinery sale operation, since the company opened a process to seek interested parties for eight of its 13 refineries in 2019, on the grounds that it needs to focus its efforts on the exploration of the pre-salt.

Deyvid Bacelar, president of FUP, stated that the transaction is harmful to Petrobras and, consequently, to the public coffers and the Brazilian population.

“In addition to the absolutely low price charged, the refinery was crucial to minimize the damage from the pandemic on Petrobras’ financial results in 2020,” Bacelar told sheet.

He points out that for several months the refinery led the production of fuel oils by the state-owned company, especially bunker oil (fuel for ships) with low sulfur content, which has been in great demand in the world.

“Therefore, to sell the refinery and seven others, as the current management of the company proposes, is to deliver the goose that lays golden eggs at a bargain price”, criticized the president of FUP.

The tanker points out that the transaction would mean throwing out Petrobras’ integration and verticalization, as are the world’s major oil companies, to make it a mere crude oil exporter.

Petrobras, in turn, stated that it establishes a value range that guides the transaction that considers the technical, productivity and potential characteristics of the asset, as well as the corporate scenarios for planning, such as the price of oil and the exchange rate .

In addition, the oil company says it has independent opinions from specialized institutions to evaluate the transactions and certify whether the sale value is fair from a financial point of view.

“These evaluations are independent made with the institution’s vision for the asset”, says the state-owned company, in a note sent to the report.

Petrobras adds that the sale will only be approved if it meets the assumptions stipulated in the process, including the value range estimated by the state company and the evaluation of the independent financial advisor.

In cases where these conditions are not met by the offers, the divestment process does not proceed to the following steps, as occurred with the sale of the Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery, in Paraná.

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