Later last week, Brazilian energy industry behemoth Petroleo Brasileiro SA said that it had signed off an accord to sell off its RLAM refinery to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investment fund Mubadala Capital in a $1.65 billion deal, branding a major triumph for the departing Petrobras Chief Castello Branco who had been ousted earlier by the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following a series of staggering hikes in gasoline prices.
In point of fact, in a statement issued later last week, the debt-laden Brazilian energy Goliath, Petrobras, said that its management board had approved the divestiture of its RLAM refinery, nonetheless, had also added that the deal would still remain subjected to approval by the Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence.
Petrobras sells RLAM refinery in bid to downsize debt-loads
More importantly, Petrobras has been selling off at least eight of its refineries in a bid to downsize its soaring debt-loads, while the energy mogul’s latest moves to engage on such mass-scale divestitures would more likely to snap out Petrobras’ decade-long monopoly in Brazilian energy industry, suggested analysts.
Nevertheless, a much-monopolized energy sector in Brazil appeared to have become a fundamental challenge for Petrobras, since it has been facing off a tremendous scale of political pressure from the Government to trim domestic fuel prices following a cascade of price hikes over recent months as beforementioned.
However, questions remain on whether the new Petrobras Chief, scheduled to take the office by April this year, would keep divesting downstream assets while addressing material conundrums likes of a soaring domestic fuel price amid a sky-scrapping debt-pile.