Norway's Yara mulling Brazil petchem acquisitions

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Norwegian multinational group Yara is considering acquisitions in Brazil's petrochemical sector, according to the company's local head.

The Oslo-based firm could bid for assets belonging to mining giant Vale and state-run oil company Petrobras as it seeks to strengthen its foothold in South America, Yara Brasil CEO Lair Hanzen said.

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"We are always monitoring. We have been looking at Petrobras and Vale assets for the past 10 years," Hanzen told Valor Econômico. "At some stage there could be an opportunity that interests them and us too."

Petrobras and Vale are selling non-core assets as they struggle to overcome a prolonged commodity price slump amid Brazil's worst-ever recession.

Last year Petrobras said it planned to exit the petrochemical segment by 2021 as it focuses on deepwater oil and gas production.

In December, the Rio de Janeiro-based company offloaded its Petroquímica Suape and Citepe petrochemical units to Grupo Petrotemex de CV and Dak Americas Exterior SL – subsidiaries of Mexico's Alpek – for US$385mn.