The government’s proposal to privatize Petrobras received a lot of criticism from the Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury (PGFN), a body that provides legal advice to the Ministry of Economy. According to the opinion of the body, the model discussed can be seen as a donation of public assets and harmful to the treasury.
Information about the document was revealed in a report published by Folha de S.Paulo. The Ministry of Economy, which is studying the privatization of the state-owned company at the request of Minister Paulo Guedes and his colleague Adolfo Sachsida, from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), has not commented on the matter.
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Sachsida requested studies on the privatization of Petrobras as soon as he took over the MME in May. President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) has already stated that this can advance during his second term, if he wins the election.
According to the Sheet, the proposal under study today provides for the conversion of preferred shares (with no voting rights on the company’s direction) into common shares (with voting rights). This change would reduce the Union’s participation in the company’s voting capital from around 50.2% (absolute majority) to around 37%. In practice, it would take away from the government the right to control Petrobras.
The change depends on a congressional authorization. It does not foresee that the government will receive any value for the transfer of control of the state-owned company.
The possibility was criticized in a PGFN opinion, as it would imply a ‘donation’ of the company’s shareholding control. “The Union will be, unequivocally, renouncing its current shareholding control over Petrobras (which would cease to be a federal mixed capital company), without receiving any value or financial compensation as an immediate consideration for this loss of control.”
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The PGFN even informed that this could be considered harmful to the national treasury and that it could lead to legal questioning of members of the government.
The general coordinator of the Unique Federation of Oil Workers (FUP), Deyvid Bacelar, said that the entity repudiates any proposal to privatize Petrobras. Oil workers have even approved a state of strike if the government goes ahead with the idea.
“Let’s see if the government will have the audacity to try to privatize the largest company in the Brazilian state”, said Bacelar. to fuels”.
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho