Petrobras to sell 90% in its natural gas pipeline network to Brookfield consortium for $5.2 bn

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, also known as Petrobras, yesterday struck a deal to sell 90 per cent of its natural gas pipeline network to a consortium led by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc for $5.2 billion, according to a Reuters report.

The consortium includes Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte, Chinese sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. and a British Columbia's pension fund.

Early this year Petrobras had put its natural gas pipeline unit Nova Transportadora do Sudeste SA (NTS) up for sale, as part of its plan to sell $15 billion worth of non-essential assets by year-end in order to reduce its massive debt pile of $130 billion.

Last month, it agreed to sell its majority stake in one of its largest oil and gas prospects to Norway's Statoil ASA for $2.5 billion.

Petrobras also is in exclusive talks with Mexico's Alpek SAB de CV to sell its loss-making petrochemical plant in Brazil's northeast, and also plans to sell control of fuels distribution unit BR Distribuidora.

The state-owned company has already sold about $3.9 billion in assets since last year, mainly from unloading its operations in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Bidders for NTS included Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa SA, France's Engie SA, and Japan's Mitsui & Co Ltd, and it was only in May this year that Petrobras entered into exclusive negotiations with the Brookfield led consortium.