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BRASILIA, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Grupo Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering conglomerate entangled in the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal, is looking to sell a minority stake in its Odebrecht Ambiental water and sewage unit, business newspaper Valor Economico said on Friday, citing a senior executive.
In an interview with Valor, Odebrecht Ambiental Chief Financial Officer Ticiana Marianetti said that neither the size of the transaction nor other terms have been decided, but added that the plan would ideally involve selling a non-controlling stake in the company.
Valor also reported, citing unnamed market sources, that the company has signaled to potential investors that a full takeover could be possible. Grupo Odebrecht owns 70 percent of Odebrecht Ambiental, the report said.
In an emailed note, however, Odebrecht Ambiental confirmed plans to find a new partner “to strengthen its capital structure and support growth,” but denied the possibility of a full takeover.
Valor also reported that Salvador, Brazil-based Grupo Odebrecht does not rule out selling a stake in its transportation unit Odebrecht TransPort.
A spokeswoman at Odebrecht TransPort denied the report.
Facing a slowing economy, tightened credit conditions at home and accusations from prosecutors investigating Brazil’s biggest ever corruption scandal, Odebrecht has sought to sell assets and secure the needed financing for capital spending.
Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht, the former chief executive Grupo Odebrecht, is among a handful of prominent and powerful Brazilians in jail awaiting judgment in a massive corruption investigation.
The scandal centered around kickbacks between ruling coalition politicians and contractors at oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA and other state firms. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; editing by Mark Potter and G Crosse)