Board of Directors of Petrobras in Brazil unchanged after shareholder vote | The powerful 790 KFGO


By Marta Nogueira and Gram Slattery

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Shareholders in Petrobras in Brazil elected seven government-backed candidates to the board of directors and one market-advised candidate in a special meeting on Friday, frustrating investors who hoped to dilute control of the state.

In total, there are now seven government-backed board members in the state enterprise, three supported by market shareholders and one supported by workers. The election results were the same as Petrobras’ previous vote on the issue in April, in which market shareholders also failed to increase their number of board seats.

Petrobras ‘extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in April prompted complaints from market shareholders that the rules governing voting were unclear.

The only board member elected by market shareholders, Marcelo Gasparino, alleged inconsistencies in the separate preliminary tally of votes released by the company ahead of the meeting. He then resigned from the board, prompting another extraordinary general meeting of shareholders under Brazilian law.

While the voting rules were clarified, Friday’s second extraordinary general meeting yielded the same result.

In a WhatsApp message on Friday evening, Gasparino said the structure of shareholder meetings in Brazil should be improved, so that shareholders do not dilute their votes among allied candidates.

Two market-backed board members as well as the worker-backed board member were not eligible for re-election on Friday and automatically retained their seats.

As a result, the representation on the 11-member board remains the same.

Analysts have mixed views on the importance of board composition. While market shareholders have had the option of increasing their seats, the government retains majority voting rights by law.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Marta Nogueira; editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)

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