BRASILIA, June 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA said on Monday it extended a deadline to sign nondisclosure agreements for partnerships in refining, as requested by interested parties.
Five companies have signed nondisclosure agreements and others have expressed interest, Petrobras said in a securities filing, without naming the firms. The new deadline was not disclosed.
Petrobras’ planned sale of a 60 percent stake in four refineries, announced on April 19, is part of a wider effort to unload assets to reduce debt. The refineries will be sold in two regional blocks, in the Northeast and in the southern region, with two refineries each.
Petrobras has said it will retain about 75 percent of its domestic refining capacity after the privatization of the four units.
Reuters reported on May 24 that Petrobras would accept nonbinding proposals by July. Among the potential bidders were buyout firms Pátria Investimentos Ltda, which has an investment agreement with Blackstone Group LP, and First Reserve Management LP, as well Brazilian firms Ultrapar Participações SA and Cosan SA Indústria e Comércio. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)