October 30, 2018 / 7:29 PM / 18 days ago

Brazil's Bolsonaro approached Castello Branco about being Petrobras CEO - sources

Jair Bolsonaro, far-right lawmaker and presidential candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), looks on as he arrives to cast his vote, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 28, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/Pool

RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s team approached Roberto Castello Branco, a former board member at state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA) (Petrobras), about the possibility of his becoming its new chief executive, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

The sources, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter publicly, said Castello Branco initially turned down the idea. Bolsonaro’s main advisers did not immediately comment on the matter.

Castello Branco had recent meetings with the Bolsonaro team led by incoming Finance minister Paulo Guedes to discuss oil and mining issues, given his prior experience. Castello Branco has also been director at miner Vale SA (VALE3.SA).

The sources said that while Castello Branco did not commit immediately to the Petrobras post, he said he was willing to contribute to the elected government. The conversation did not represent a formal invitation, one of the sources said, adding that he might evaluate an offer if it came.

Castello Branco, currently a professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), has a PhD from the University of Chicago, where Guedes also studied.

Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Alexandra Alper. Additional reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by James Dalgleish

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