This excerpt taken from the PBR 6-K filed Mar 30, 2009.
Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the estimated fair value of the net assets acquired in the acquisition of a business. In accordance with SFAS No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets (SFAS 142), the Corporations goodwill is not amortized, but is tested for impairment at a reporting unit level, which is an operating segment or one level below an operating segment. The Company conducts its annual goodwill impairment review in the fourth quarter of each year and whenever events and changes in circumstances suggest that the carrying amount may not be recoverable.
Goodwill impairment encompasses a two step approach. In the first step the Company compares the fair value of the reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the fair value is lower than the carrying amount including goodwill, there is an indication of impairment loss that is measured by performing the second step. In the second step, the estimated fair value from the first step is used as the purchase price in a hypothetical acquisition of the reporting unit. Purchase business combination accounting rules are followed to determine a hypothetical purchase price allocation to the reporting units assets and liabilities. The residual amount of goodwill that results from this hypothetical purchase price allocation is compared to the recorded amount of goodwill for the reporting unit, and the recorded amount is written down to the hypothetical amount, if lower.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, the Company recorded a goodwill impairment of US$223 in Petrobras indirect subsidiary in United States, Pasadena Refining System, that encompasses a refinery and a trading company. The primarily factors for the goodwill impairment were: (a) a decline in the price of crude oil and oil products (b) a gross margin decrease of refined products in the wholesale market, and (c) a decrease in the demand for refined products.
Change in the balance of goodwill for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007: