Last updated: September 24, 2010 3:09 pm

Petrobras offering raises $67bn

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Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, announced it had raised $67bn in the biggest share issue in corporate history.

The price for new voting shares was set at R$29.65 ($17.25) on Thursday compared with the closing price of R$30.25 in São Paulo, which rose 1.9 per cent during the day in frenetic trading against a wider market that was up just 0.69 per cent.

New non-voting shares – the kind that are more heavily traded – were priced at R$26.30 ($15.30), compared with the closing price of R$26.80.

Of the proceeds, shares worth about $42.5bn will go to the government, the company’s majority shareholder, in exchange for the rights to 5bn barrels of oil in Brazil’s newly discovered pre-salt oilfields, so called because they are trapped under several kilometres of seawater, rock and a hard-to-penetrate layer of salt.

The person said the government would also purchase additional shares, although he declined to say how much. “They like the stock,” he said.

The sale seems certain to result in the government owning a bigger share of Petrobras than it did before the issue.

Guido Mantega, finance minister, said on Friday morning the government stake in Petrobras would increase from about 40 per cent to about 48 per cent after the offer.

Petrobras’ new share sale involved issuing an initial 2.17bn voting shares and 1.56bn non-voting shares. It had the option of selling an additional lot equal to 20 per cent of the initial offer and a further “supplementary” lot equal to 5 per cent.

The person would not say how many additional shares were being sold. But the share prices announced would make the initial offer worth $61.75bn, which implies Petrobras is selling additional shares equal to about $5.25bn, or 18.5 per cent of the initial offer.

Trading of the new shares is due to begin on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and on Monday on the BM&FBovespa in São Paulo.

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