Brazil’s state-controlled oil and gas company Petrobras concluded on Monday the sale of its 51-percent stake in gas distributor Gaspetro to Compass, a company controlled by Brazilian group Cosan. The BRL 2.09 billion deal is part of a cessation commitment term signed by Petrobras with antitrust regulator Cade in July 2019, to promote further competition in the natural gas sector.
In June of this year, Cade approved the transaction by a slim 4-3 margin. The three Cade members who voted against the deal expressed concerns that it could create an oversized new company, with Compass gaining a substantial share of the gas market in states like São Paulo and Santa Catarina.
Compass already owns Comgás in São Paulo, and Sulgás in Rio Grande do Sul.
The transaction, however, will give Compass stakes in 18 natural gas distributors mostly operating in Northern states, such as Acre, Roraima, and Alagoas.
The remaining 49 percent of Gaspetro belongs to Japan’s Mitsui.
Analysts believe that Compass may use the know-how it has gained with Comgás to reduce inefficiencies in these 18 newly-acquired distributors. As part of the agreement aiming at more competition in the gas sector, Compass has committed to re-selling Gaspetro stakes in 12 of the 18 acquired companies.