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EXCLUSIVE-U.S. firm GIP, Shell-Cosan venture plan to bid on Brazil refineries -sources

Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer

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SAO PAULO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S.-based financial firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is planning a joint bid with Brazil's fuel distribution company Raízen for refineries put on the block by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Raízen, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan SA, has presented non binding offers for the largest refineries put on sale by state-controlled Petrobras.

New York-based GIP manages over $50 billion in assets through its infrastructure funds, investing in sectors such as energy, transport, water and waste management.

If this consortium bid is successful, it will mark GIP's first investment in Brazil. Last year, it started raising a new fund for investments in emerging countries in Latin America and Asia.

Raizen, with more than 7,000 gas stations in Brazil and Argentina, also provides fuel for over 3,000 corporate clients. Still, refining in Brazil has been a Petrobras monopoly for decades.

Binding bids for the largest four refineries are expected for early March, and must be presented with the final composition of the groups, the sources added, seeking anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the talks.

Since November, when Petrobras selected four groups to deliver binding offers for the first four refineries, companies interested have been in talks to form consortia.

The groups that went to the second phase are Ultrapar Participações SA, Raizen, United Arab Emirates' state investor Mubadala Investment Company and China's Sinopec.

Ultrapar and Mubadala are still in talks with potential partners, but no agreement has been reached yet, people with knowledge of the matter said. Sinopec is planning to present a bid alone.

Raizen and GIP declined to comment on the matter. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by David Gregorio)