TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business – Economy

TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business – Economy
TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business – Economy
Technicians Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) have five working days to consider whether to ask to suspend the sale of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam) through the Petrobrás to Mubadala, financial fund of United Arab Emirates, announced on the last 24th. The measure aims to avoid “damage to the public interest”, as stated by the minister in plenary Walton Alencar, this Wednesday.

O TCU questions the amount of US $ 1.65 billion closed with Mubadala, which would be below the market price of US $ 3.04 billion, defined by Petrobras itself.

“I received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General, Lucas Rocha Furtado, highlighting the recent decision by the Petrobras board of directors to sell the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam) at prices below its market value,” said the minister, in today’s session.

When questioned, the company sent to the court the reasons why its board of directors and management approved the sale of the refinery, located at Bahia, below that value. With the documents in hand, the minister handed over to the technical area the responsibility for definitively analyzing the case.

“Given the risk of concluding the deal before this Court can deal with the matter, with possible damage to the public interest, as well as considering the consequences that this decision may have on the sale of the other refineries, I believe it is essential to determine that the Technical Unit submit to this Rapporteur, within 5 working days, a conclusive analysis regarding the need or not to grant injunctions for the suspension of the sale in progress “, stated Alencar, in plenary.

Since the negotiations with Mubadala were concluded, the amount of US $ 1.65 billion, to be paid by the fund, has been questioned by the market. O Institute for Strategic Studies of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Ineep) estimated Rlam at $ 3 billion. While bank analysts BTG Pactual says that the total amount to be paid for the asset is 35% below the lower limit projected by them. THE XP Investments estimates that, with this money, Petrobras will be able to achieve a very small portion of its financial goals.

The criticisms led the president of the oil company, Roberto Castello Branco, to distribute a letter to its employees, last Monday, to justify the sale of Rlam. He will step down next month. “There was no exaggerated haste, there was no approval to turn off the lights of the current administration,” he said.

The president of Petrobrás also said that the sale was not a job or “decision of a person or a small group” and that “lying is the main weapon of the radicals”. In the end, he apologized for the long text, arguing that he owed the employees clarification.

Castello Branco was fired on February 19 after readjusting gasoline and diesel oil by about 50% in just over two months. His departure was announced by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, through social media, after successive criticisms of his administration. Bolsonaro was especially irritated by Castello Branco’s speech, in a virtual event, that the fuel price problem is not the state’s, but the age of the fleet of autonomous truck drivers and the poor quality of the roads.

Sought, Petrobras did not comment until early evening.

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