Galp Energia joins Portuguese, Angolan and Brazilian capital

7 June 2010

Macau, China, 7 Jun – Brazil’s Petrobras may enter the capital of Portugal’s Galp Energia, joining Angola’s Sonangol, which is already a shareholder, to set up a major Portuguese language energy company.

The most decisive step to create this energy company, quoted on the Lisbon exchange and with Portuguese capital, is a strategic partnership agreement between Sonangol, Petrobras and Galp which has already been approved by the Portuguese company’s executive committee.

In recent statements to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Angolan Oil Minister Botelho de Vasconcelos defended the need for internationalisation partners to assure access to “significant resources” in an industry that invests a great deal in prospecting and production.

“Also for this reason the development of new projects requires the company (Sonangol) to seek partnerships so it can have a strong presence on the international market,” he said.

The partnership is being set up with a view to developing joint business projects and is considered a prelude to a reorganisation of stakes in Galp.

Sonangol has shown interest in directly assuming its stake of more than 33 percent in the Portuguese company, undoing its partnership with Portuguese tycoon Americo Amorim.

The Portuguese press has also reported that Petrobras is interested in acquiring 25 percent of the Italian company Eni’s 33.34 percent stake in Galp.

“It’s a possibility,” Brazilian Energy Minsiter Edison Lobao said early this year when questioned about Petrobras’s entrance into the capital of Galp Energia.

The two companies are shareholders in Brazil’s huge Tupi field, considered the world’s biggest, and the deal will give Petrobras more control over that project, indicates the analyst Gianna Bern.

Portuguese Finance Minister Teixeira dos Santos recently said in Luanda that the Brazilian company should buy Eni’s stake.

“It’s not the government’s place to make pronouncements on business deals essentially between private companies, but if they result in a good understanding between Portuguese, Brazilian and Angolan entities then I think it’s positive,” he stated.

The Portuguese state holds 7 percent of Galp via Parpublica and 1 percent via the Caixa Geral de Depositos financial group. About 25.32 percent is dispersed in the stock market. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH