RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petrobras named Segen Farid Estefen interim chairman of the board of BR Distribuidora SA, the fuels unit in which the state-run oil company is seeking a new business partner, according to a Wednesday securities filing.
Estefen, a mechanical and ocean engineering professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, will be in charge of leading a reorganization of BR Distribuidora, Brazil's largest fuels retailer with 7,500 service stations.
Petrobras reiterated on Wednesday that it was seeking a strategic partner for the unit, calling off an initial public offering that was part of plans to sell about $15 billion of assets owned by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, by the end of 2016.
Petrobras initially expected to sell its stake in BR Distribuidora this year, but delayed its plans as it streamlines the company's operations and decides on the best sale model.
Estefen has a doctorate in civil engineering from Imperial College, London, a masters degree in ocean engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and is a graduate of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora in Brazil. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Jeb Blount; Editing by Andrew Hay)