By Tatiana Bautzer and Rodrigo Viga Gaier
SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's planned privatisation of eight Petroleo Brasileiro SA
Around 20 companies have signed non-disclosure agreements granting them access to the refineries' data and signalling that they are considering a bid, the sources added, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose private details of the sale.
The first round of non-binding offers for four of the eight refineries Petrobras put on the block is due on Oct. 11, the sources said. The eight refineries have total capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day.
Among the potential bidders are trading firms Vitol SA [VITOLV.UL], Glencore PLC
Other companies interested, according to the sources, include PetroChina Co <601857.SS> and Sinopec <600688.SS>, which already has a Brazilian joint venture with Spain's Repsol
The request to access the data room is just the first step of companies interested in the deal, and does not mean they will deliver bids on Oct. 11.
Petrobras, PetroChina, Ultrapar, Sinopec and Vitol did not immediately comment on the matter. Raizen, Trafigura, Saudi Aramco and Glencore declined to comment.
The deal, to be one of Petrobras' largest divestitures ever, would transform Brazil's oil industry and may raise around $18 billion, bankers working on the deal say. Refining has traditionally been state-owned in Brazil, triggering occasional calls for government price controls.
At least partial privatisation is widely seen as one of the best possible ways to bring real competition to the Brazilian oil industry.
Antitrust watchdog CADE has already forced Petrobras to change its refinery sale process to boost competition, demanding the separate sale of each of the eight refineries. A single buyer will be barred from buying two of the largest refineries in the same area, whether it be the northeast, the south or the southeast.
Petrobras is also carving out logistics assets, such as oil pipelines and terminals, to sell along with the refineries, one of the sources said.
Most of the bidding groups are expected to include private pipeline operators, possibly including France's Engie
(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo and Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Christian Plumb and Leslie Adler)
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Updated Date: Aug 27, 2019 07:07:19 IST