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Brazil's Petrobras accepts US$8.6b bid for gas unit

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Brazil's debt-laden Petrobras has accepted an US$8.6 billion offer for its natural gas pipeline unit TAG, the state oil giant said Friday, as it offloads assets to repair its finances.

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Brazil's debt-laden Petrobras has accepted an US$8.6 billion offer for its natural gas pipeline unit TAG, the state oil giant said Friday, as it offloads assets to repair its finances.

The top bid from France's Engie and Canadian investment fund Caisse de Depot and Placement du Quebec for 90 per cent of TAG includes US$800 million in debts, Petrobras said in a statement.

"After adjustments, the transaction, when completed, will represent to Petrobras a total estimated value of US$8.6 billion," it said.

"We clarify that the transaction is still subject to approval by Petrobras governance and competitive defence bodies."

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The deal represents Petrobras' biggest asset sale, Bloomberg reported. The company hopes to sell about US$27 billion in assets to reduce its debt and focus on oil.

Petrobras, which has been at the center of the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil's history, is also trying to repair its reputation with investors.

Large construction companies had paid bribes to politicians to secure contracts with Petrobras, which knowingly overpaid on those deals.

Petrobras registered its first profit in five years in 2018. The company's debt also dropped 18 per cent to US$69.4 billion.

AFP