NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Petrobras  (PBR) were falling in late afternoon trading on Tuesday as the company formally launches a plan to sell a 51% stake in its fuel unit Petrobras Distribuidora.

According to an SEC filing late yesterday, the Brazilian energy company sent documents with information on the unit to potential buyers and is working with an unspecified financial advisor to reach a deal, Bloomberg reports.

Brazilian banks Cambuhy Investimentos and Itausa - Investimentos Itau are planning a joint bid for the stake, sources say, Bloomberg notes.

Other potential buyers include global energy company Vitol and private equity firms GP Investimentos and Advent Int'l.

A deal could value Petrobras' fuel unit at $6 billion, the sources added, according to Bloomberg.

CEO Pedro Parente has been considering options to cut costs at the company, which held about $125 billion in debt at the end of June.

Additionally, oil prices were sliding late Tuesday afternoon, weighing on Petrobras shares.

Crude oil (WTI) was lower 0.45% to $48.59 per barrel while Brent crude was down 0.24% to $50.77 per barrel.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "sell" with a ratings score of D+.

The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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