BG Group said Tuesday it has signed a definitive binding agreement with Cosan S.A. Indústria e Comércio (Cosan) for the sale of the Group’s entire 60.1% holding in Comgás for Brazilian reais 3.4 billion in cash, or approximately $1.7 billion at current exchange rates. In addition, the transaction will reduce debt on the BG Group balance sheet by some $1.1 billion.
The definitive agreement follows BG Group’s announcement in early May that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Cosan for the sale of the Group’s interest in Comgás, Brazil’s largest gas distribution company.
BG Group Chief Executive Sir Frank Chapman said, “This transaction, when completed, will release capital of around $2.8 billion which, along with other planned divestments, represents significant progress towards our two-year goal to release $5 billion of capital from BG Group’s balance sheet.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is likely to complete by the end of 2012.
Further, BG Group and Cosan have agreed, when the transaction is completed, to co-operate on evaluating and developing gas supply options in Brazil. The co-operation agreement reflects BG Group’s long-term commitment to Brazil, where the Group and its partners are developing world-class oil discoveries offshore in the Santos Basin.
Shareholders in Comgás are BG Group (60.1%) and Shell (18.1%) with the remainder held via the public through a listing on the São Paulo stock exchange.