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BP reportedly bids for Brazil’s Cerradinho Group

BP PLC has bid $466 million for a 50% stake in Brazil ethanol maker Cerradinho Group as the oil major looks toward increasing its biofuel offerings, according to published reports.

BP PLC’s /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 43.60, +0.61, +1.42%) bid faced a Friday deadline for a decision by the board of directors of Sao Paolo-based Cerradinho Group, according to a report by the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

BP and Cerradinho spokesmen declined to comment on the deal. Cerradinho Group officials have said publicly that a strategic partner will be announced by the end of the year, and that the Brazilian firm will retain control of the company, according to the report.

The report comes after BP officials have signaled growth plans in biofuel.

James Primrose of BP Biofuels told Reuters on Nov. 4 that the oil giant has ambitious growth plans, especially in places like Brazil, with its high quality sugar cane available at favorable costs to make sugar-based ethanol.

BP last July said it would spend $98 million to buy technology from Verenium Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!vrnm/quotes/nls/vrnm (VRNM 3.55, -0.19, -5.08%) , a maker of enzymes to help convert grasses and other vegetable matter into fuel.

In Brazil, BP announced plans to pay $60 million for a 50% stake in Tropical BioEnergia SA in 2008.

The alliance included Brazilian companies Santelisa Vale and Maeda Group. At the time, the group planned to invest $1 billion to build two refineries.

Source marketwatch.com