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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A Federal Court in Sergipe, Brazil announced on Monday it was dismissing a legal action intended to suspend Petrobras’ sale of its shares in one of its subsidiaries, BR Distribuidora, paving way for the oil giant to continue its plan of divestment.

Brazil, Minas Gerais,Petrobras is now free to sell its shares of BR Distribuidora,
Petrobras is now free to sell its shares of BR Distribuidora, photo courtesy of Agencia Petrobras.

According to the court, the continuation of the divestment program should follow the system approved by the company’s executive board, in accordance with the agency’s guidelines. The court also determined the resumption of all negotiations in which the purchase and sale agreements had not yet been signed.

On December 5th 2016, Petrobras issued a note to its investors and to the market informing that it would appeal the preliminary decision made by the courts that led to a halt in the sale process of its shares at BR Distribuidora.

“Petrobras will appeal the preliminary decisions and clarifies that the conduct of these processes observes all the steps set forth in the Disinvestment Systematics, guaranteeing wide competitiveness among potential stakeholders, as a means of ensuring the best business for the company,” stated the release.

According to Petrobras, the company’s divestment processes are ‘reviewed by several internal committees and submitted to the competent bodies for approval of the transactions’.

In September of 2016, Petrobras’ CEO, Pedro Parente, revealed the company’s 2017-2021 business plan, which calls for the selling off of Petrobras’ secondary businesses, such as petrochemicals, biofuels and fertilizers to reduce the company’s debt and the focusing on more profitable projects, such as deep water drilling.

“The plan’s investment portfolio prioritizes exploration and oil production projects in Brazil, with emphasis on deep water exploration. In the other areas of business, investments will be primarily to maintain operations and projects related to the production of oil and natural gas,” said the statement issued by the company at the time.

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