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Braskem Jumps on Report of Raised Bid While Petrobras Stands Pat – Bloomberg

  • Petrobras doesn’t want to take on Braskem’s $9.8 billion debt
  • Petrobras has right of first refusal on acquisition offers

Cristiane Lucchesi, Bloomberg News

Energiesnet.com 06 16 2023

Braskem SA shares jumped as much as 9% on a report that Apollo Global Management would raise its offer for the petrochemical company, potentially heating up a bidding war even as shareholder Petrobras remains on the sidelines.

Apollo fund has informed the creditor banks that it will soon make a new bid for Braskem, columnist Lauro Jardim from O Globo newspaper wrote on Thursday, without disclosing how he obtained the information. Apollo is partnering with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. to acquire all of the company’s shares, including those owned by the Brazilian state-owned oil producer, for more than 37.5 billion reais ($7.8 billion). 

That offer is competing with 10 billion-real bid by Brazilian petrochemical maker Unipar Carbocloro SA to acquire a 34.4% stake in Braskem from the firm’s biggest shareholder, Novonor SA, the company formerly known as Odebrecht.

refinery oil
Smoke rises from the Braskem SA petrochemical plant in Duque de Caxias, Brazil.(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Petroleo Brasileiro SA hasn’t yet made a decision on which offer is the best, according to people familiar with the matter, and is leaving Novonor and its creditors to lead negotiations with the bidders. 

The oil giant is not considering making an offer to buy out Braskem because it doesn’t want to absorb the company’s $9.8 billion debt into its balance sheet, the people said, asking not to be named because the decision isn’t public yet. Petrobras also doesn’t want to turn Brasken into a government-owned firm, the people added.

Petrobras holds a 36.1% stake in Braskem, as well as 47% of its voting shares, compared to Novonor’s 50.1%. The companies have a shareholder agreement that gives the state-owned oil giant the right of first refusal in the case of any buyout offer. Petrobras doesn’t plan to exercise that right, the people said.

Read More: The Race for Braskem Heats Up With Unipar’s $2 Billion Offer

Novonor’s 38.3% stake in Braskem is under the control of its creditors after it was pledged as collateral for 14 billion reais in loans that went unpaid when then-Odebrecht became entangled in the Carwash scandal, one of Latin America’s biggest corruption probes. 

Novonor declined to comment. 

Petrobras declined to comment beyond its June 13 statement, in which it said that a decision has not been made and that participating “in the petrochemical sector is one of the elements of the company’s 2024-2028 strategic plan.” The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jean Paul Prates, said on Wednesday that a decision on whether to increase the stake in Braskem would not be made in a hurry. 

Unipar’s acquisition proposal is non-bidding and will last for 30 days starting on June 10. The company offered 36.5 reais per share, Braskem said in a filing, adding that Novonor would keep 4% of the outstanding shares. The company plans to launch tender offers in Brazil’s B3 stock exchange to acquire common shares as well as class A and class B preferred shares owned by Braskem’s minority investors. It will also offer to acquire up to all Brazilian Depositary Receipts, or BDRs, that trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

— With assistance by Mariana Durao and Daniel Carvalho

bloomberg.com 06 14 2023

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