Itaúsa-led group wins bidding for Petrobras' Liquigas unit

SAO PAULO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - A group led by Brazilian investment firm Itaúsa has won the bidding to buy state-run Petrobras’ LPG distribution unit Liquigas with an offer of 3.7 billion reais ($906.97 million), Petrobras said on Thursday.

Reuters reported in August that the consortium, which also includes local LPG distribution firms Copagaz and Nacional Gás Butano, had placed the highest bid for the unit.

“The transaction will still be subject to approval by the relevant Petrobras bodies and subsequent project steps will be disclosed to the market in a timely manner,” the company added, without mentioning deadlines.

The Liquigas sale is part of a broader asset-selling drive by Petrolero Brasileiro, as the company is officially known.

Itaúsa, the investment holding company that controls bank Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and other companies, said its participation in the operation will be acquired via a stake in Copagaz, which will leave Itaúsa with approximately 49% of the local distributor’s capital.

Petrobras added that it expects to sign the sale agreement later this year, but stressed that the acquisition will not have an effect on its balance sheet in the current fiscal year. ($1 = 4.0795 reais) (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)