Ecopetrol Expects IPO in 3Q07

Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol expects the first tranche of a share sale to take place in the third quarter of this year, a company public affairs official told BNamericas.

Ecopetrol plans to sell 20% of its capital, the first tranche of which by law has been set aside for Colombia's "solidarity" sector that includes current and former workers, beneficiaries, pension funds and cooperatives.

The company has selected US law firm Shearman & Sterling to act as IPO adviser.

Ecopetrol will now select an investment bank to carry out the IPO's financial engineering, the official said.

Colombia's congress last year approved a bill that allowed for changes in Ecopetrol's ownership structure, opening the door to the IPO.

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