(Clarifies Lazard hired to sell assets of one Odebrecht division in first paragraph, and details of its mandate in paragraph two)
SAO PAULO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Brazil’s biggest engineering firm, Odebrecht SA, has contracted asset management firm Lazard Ltd to help sell assets of one of its divisions, Odebrecht Transport (OTP), to raise capital for investment projects on the horizon, the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported on Sunday.
Lazard has the mandate to sell the 15 percent stake on the operator of Line 4 in Sao Paulo subway.
Facing a slowing economy and tightened credit conditions at home, exasperated by the company’s central role in Brazil’s biggest ever corruption scandal, Odebrecht is likely to struggle to secure the needed financing for its near-term investment plans, unnamed sources at six of the company’s biggest lenders told the Folha.
Odebrecht’s management is selecting assets that could be sold quickly and would generate cash to bankroll OTP’s estimated 3.7 billion real ($1 billion) investment needs for 2016, including possible sales of stakes in its defense, transport and overseas divisions, the paper said.
Representatives at the company’s main offices in Sao Paulo and in Salvador, Bahia, were not available for comment on the story on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, Odebrecht is looking for a potential buyer of its Chaglla hydroelectric dam in Peru, which could raise around 900 million dollars. It is also open to offers for its sanitation concessions in Angola and Mexico.
In Brazil, the company is considering selling a 30 to 40 percent stake in its Odebrecht Transport’s Odebrecht Rodovias division that holds concessions in toll-roads. The company also holds concessions in port projects, subway lines and airports.
Odebrecht is also interested in selling a 40 percent stake in its military defense company Mectron, which makes missiles and military communication systems, the paper said.
The company could also sell a stake in its diamond mine in Africa and in the Santo Antonio hydroelectric dam in the Amazon.
The company is already in the process of negotiating with its creditors over the restructuring of its sugar and ethanol division, Odebrecht Agroindustrial. (Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Leslie Adler)