A consortium comprised of the Brazilian Odebrecht and Mariani groups bought controlling interest of Copene Petroquimica do Nordeste SA in a July 25 auction.
Copene is one of three main Brazilian suppliers of feedstocks used to make plastic resins.
The consortium acquired the shares that Esae-Economico Empreendimentos SA owned in Norquisa-Nordeste Qu¡mica SA, which is a holding company that controls Copene. Since the Odebrecht and Mariani groups already had held an equity interest in Norquisa, this purchase of shares from Esae provided these companies with a majority shareholding interest in Norquisa.
The Odebrecht-Mariani consortium was the only bidder at the auction, having offered the minimum sale price of 785 million reais ($316 million). This was the third attempt to sell Copene since December. The two previous attempts failed - the first because the sellers did not disclose the minimum sale price and the offers presented by the Ultra (Brazil) and Perez Companc (Argentina) groups were not accepted; the second attempt failed because there were no bidders.
In the first auction, the Odebrecht and Mariani groups had included a part of their Norquisa shares together with the Esae shares to be sold. But officials changed their minds after the second auction attempt failed, and those groups decided to become buyers instead of sellers.
Copene is based in Camacari, located in Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia. It produces roughly 3.5 million tons per year of ethane, ethene, propylene, paraxylene and other raw materials. The acquisition will allow the Odebrecht-Mariani consortium to carry out an important integration within the petrochemical complex of Camacari, where the partners already produce PVC, polyethylene and PET resins.