March 17, 2015 / 12:10 PM / 4 years ago

Brazil's Petrobras hires banks to handle asset sales, Folha says

SAO PAULO, March 17 (Reuters) - State-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro SA hired several investment banks to help sell $13.7 billion worth of assets including gasoline stations, stakes in oil fields and electricity investments, Folha de S. Paulo reported on Monday.

Folha, which did not say how it obtained the information, said that Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras, as the company is known, put those assets on the block as fallout from a massive corruption scandal curbed access to capital market funding.

According to the paper, Petrobras hired Bradesco BBI to help manage the sale of a stake in Petrobras Distribuidora, the owner of more than 7,500 gasoline stations in the country. The size of that stake is yet to be defined, the paper added.

Itaú BBA was hired to help Petrobras fully or partially exit the natural gas distribution sector, Folha said, adding that the divestment of 21 thermal electricity plants will be handled by Bradesco BBI.

Likewise, Itaú BBA won a mandate to coordinate the sale of hundreds of gasoline stations that Petrobras owns in Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay, the paper said. Potential sales of stakes in some oil fields are being considered, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch among candidates for the mandate, Folha said.

Itaú BBA and Bradesco BBI are the wholesale and investment-banking units of Brazil’s two largest private-sector lenders, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Bradesco SA.

Petrobras did not immediately respond to calls or messages seeking comment on the Folha report. Reuters reported last month that JPMorgan Chase & Co landed one of the mandates.

None of the banks had an immediate comment on the report. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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