Petrobras Changes Name to Petrobrax

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Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Brazil's state oil company Petrobras will change its name and the name of its retail subsidiary Petrobras Distribuidora (also known as BR) to Petrobrax in the next six months to facilitate acceptance and branding in international markets, Petrobras president Henri Reichstul said, quoted by local press.

"The X is related to technology, while Petrobras was much more related to the monopoly in Brazil that ended in 1997. Nowadays, the 'bras' suffix is much more a weight on the company than an advantage," Reichstul said.

The name change will be completed within the next five to six months. The total cost of changing the company's name is some US$50mn, which includes market studies, new logo design, advertising campaigns, and the change of the company's brand on all of its products and 7,000 fuel stations.

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Petrobras worker unions however rejected the name change considering it would only lead to an eventual privatization of the company, as it would end the relation between the country (the Bras suffix) and it's state-owned company status.