Petrobras's domestic share sale extended

Petrobras has already sold shares valued at 900 million real in an ongoing public offer, said the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). The offer will be extended to Brazilian workers until Aug. 7. The bank said that in July, an estimated 150,000 investors purchased company shares.

Aug 7th, 2000


RIO DE JANEIRO�Petroleo Brasileiro SA has already sold shares valued at 900 million real in an ongoing public offer, said the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). The offer will be extended to Brazilian workers until Aug. 7.

The share offer was extended to increase public participation and meet last-minute demand, especially from labor groups, who are encouraged to use their pension fund credit to purchase the shares at a discount. Blue-collar workers in Brazil have tended to shy away from equities, preferring fixed-income investments, if any.

Petrobras had initially said it would close the share offer July 28.

BNDES said, in July, an estimated 150,000 investors purchased company shares, with share purchases totaling 900 million real through July 28. Prior to the public offer, there were 103,000 Petrobras shareholders.

The government hopes to sell a minority 16.7% stake, or 28.24% of voting shares, in Petrobras�worth more than 8 billion real ($4.4 billion)�to retail and institutional investors in Brazil. The maximum price was set at 58 real/share for Brazil's retail investors.

"Since this is the first time Brazil has attempted such an offer, we don't have an estimate for total participation, but the interest so far has been very, very good," said a BNDES official.

BNDES said that, once the pension fund part of the share offer has been completed, the shares would be offered to cash investors in Brazil, then to institutional investors in Brazil. Only afterwards will any remaining shares be offered to investors overseas.

The BNDES's equity investment vehicle, BNDESPar, will continue to hold a 3% block of Petrobras common shares in its strategic investment portfolio, said the BNDES spokesman.

The offer is also considered a precursor to a similar offer in the federal electricity generator Furnas Centrais Geradoras later this year. Although BNDES announced that there would be such an offer, details on the deal have not been announced.

Separately, the Brazilian government�the controlling shareholder of Petrobras�is also offering 153.3 million American depositary receipts (ADRs) in a global share offering and plans a domestic share placement on the Sa� Paulo stock exchange. This offering represents 24.3% of voting capital, or 14.1% of total capital, of the company. Petrobras will not receive any proceeds from the placement.

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