The Macquarie Group Ltd. is financing a bid on Petrobras assets using financial assistance from Bank of America and Banco Bradesco, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The bridge-loan could be as big as $6 billion, though it will mostly be offered in reais, Brazil’s main currency, in order to avoid currency hedges, anonymous sources said.
The Brazilian state-owned subsidiary for sale is called TAG, and it operates completely in the Brazilian currency, which means the loan could give Macquarie a leg up over several other bidding groups.
Sao Paulo-based Itausa – Investimientos Itau SA will compete with the TAG deal in a consortium with Sydney-based Macquarie, Canada Pension Plan Investment Plan, and Singapore-based GIC Private Limited, sources close to the matter said.
French utility major Engie is leading another bidding group, and Mubadala Development also seeks to lodge a separate bid on the Petrobras subsidiary.
Transportadora Associada de Gas (TAG) owns a 2,800-mile network of pipelines across 10 Brazilian states. Its sale would help meet one-third of Petrobras’ divestment plan to pull itself out of debt.
New revenues for Petrobras and Brasilia are expected from pre-salt layers in the near future. But the fields can be complex and costly to fully exploit. However, the potential held by the pre-salt belt is tremendous. Its basins have some of the highest drilling success rates globally, and the national petroleum agency, the ANP, believes that if effectively exploited, the pre-salt area could easily double Brazil’s oil reserves.
Industry insiders estimate that the largest oil field in the pre-salt acreage, the Libra field, has recoverable oil resources of up to 15 billion barrels. For these reasons, during 2017, pre-salt production became a major driver of Brazil’s growing oil output. And for the first time ever, in December 2017, it was responsible for over half of the nation’s total oil output.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…