SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has delayed the delivery of non-binding proposals for its LPG unit to June 11, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Initially, Petrobras, as the company is known, had set the delivery date for non-binding proposals to acquire Liquigas Distribudora SA to June 6.
But the company decided to postpone the delivery to wait for Brazil’s Supreme Court ruling on the need of congressional approval for the sale of subsidiaries. The judges decided on Thursday that no approval from Congress is needed.
Among the investors interested in acquiring Liquigas are private equity firms Advent International Corp., Warburg Pincus and CVC Capital Partners. The first two firms are expected to bid alone for Liquigas, at least in the first round.
CVC is in talks with an undisclosed strategic partner to form a consortium. Brazilian investment firm Itausa Investimentos Itau SA is in talks with LPG distribution company Copagaz on a potential joint bid, two sources said. Copagaz has already discussed partnerships with other funds but talks did not evolve, the sources added.
Other financial firms expected to bid are sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co, which was outbid by France’s Engie SA in the process to buy pipeline network company TAG from Petrobras.
Turkish firm Aygaz AS, which has joined the Liquigas sale process, is also expected to deliver a bid.
Ultrapar, which had signed an agreement to buy Liquigas in 2017 but was barred by Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade, was considering a bid in a consortium, but it was not clear if it would make one.
Petrobras restricted the bidders in April to avoid a second blocking of the deal by Cade. Direct competitors with more than 10 percent of market share in the Brazilian LPG distribution market cannot have a stake in the consortium higher than 30% of Liquigas revenue.
Liquigas posted revenues of 5.6 billion reais in 2018 and net income of 147.5 million. It has 20 million clients and 5,000 points of sale.
Petrobras, Advent, Warburg Pincus, CVC, Aygaz, Ultra, Mubadala and Copagaz did not comment on the matter.
Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Carolina Mandl; Editing by Dan Grebler