Brazil's energy minister, Edison Lobao, said Citigroup Inc. had asked the Brazilian government to buy a stake in it as the New York company sought a cash infusion this year.

"The Brazilian government was offered to buy [stock] by Citigroup during the financial crisis," Lobao said after a presentation at the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. The negotiations occurred "probably in the beginning of this year," he said.

"After the government analyzed the deal, we decided to decline the offer," he added.

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