BRASILIA, May 8 (Reuters) - Petrobras Distribuidora SA has been talking with Lojas Americanas SA and 7-Eleven Inc about potential partnerships involving its profitable convenience store segment, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Tuesday.
7-Eleven is discussing a partnership to operate convenience stores in gas stations operated by BR Distribuidora, as Petrobras Distribuidora is also known, Valor reported, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the matter. BR is the fuel distribution arm of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
Lojas Americanas would prefer to own the stores, but to do so BR would have to spin off its convenience store operations, Valor reported.
Representatives for BR Distribuidora, 7-Eleven and Lojas Americanas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The transaction is part of efforts by BR Distribuidora to double down on its convenience stores, which have higher margins than its core fuel distribution business, as it grapples with a slower-than-expected economic recovery in Brazil.
In a recent conference call, Marcelo Bragança, BR Distribuidora’s head of gas stations, said the company will propose a new business model for convenience stores to its board in coming months.
Common shares in BR Distribuidora are up 33.2 percent this year, surpassing an 8.3 percent increase by Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)