Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras SA is expected to announce the beginning of a sale process for its 36.1 percent stake in Braskem SA in the coming days, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported Wednesday, without citing sources.
According to the newspaper, Petrobras has hired Brazilian bank Bradesco BBI to conduct the sale, and Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management is interested in the stake. Brookfield has investments in infrastructure, real estate and renewable energy assets in Brazil through its subsidiary Brookfield do Brasil.
Petrobras is one of Braskem's largest stakeholders. Odebrecht Servicos e Participacoes SA has a 38.3 percent.
Braskem, Petrobras, Bradesco BBI, Odebrecht and Brookfield do Brasil declined to comment for this story.
Speculation about Petrobras' interest in selling its share in Braskem has been around since the company announced in June its plans to sell assets worth $15.1 billion in 2015-16, and another $42.6 billion in 2017-18. The sale plans are meant to improve financial results after posting a net loss of 21.6 billion Brazilian reais ($6.7 billion) in 2014.
Analysts told Plastics News in the past that before selling a Braskem stake, Petrobras would have to achieve an agreement with the petrochemical company for a long-term naphtha contract, which was announced at the end of December after three years of negotiations.