Brazil close to unveiling Eletrobras privatization model

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Brazilian government will reveal details of its privatization process for state-run power utility Eletrobras by the end of the month, energy minister Fernando Coelho Filho said on Tuesday.

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In a conference call with journalists, Coelho Filho said the company maintained its target to complete the sell-off by mid-2018.

"We know that there is little time and that the challenge is big," he said. "By the end of the month we will disclose the [privatization] model. We are looking into the matter on a daily basis."

He said the government has yet to decide which hydroelectric plants will be included in the process, though the Itaipu binational plant has already been excluded. As a sweetener, the government has promised to offer more attractive electricity prices in new contracts.

Coelho Filho also confirmed the transaction would involve the sale of new stock to help replenish Eletrobras' capital. He said the government would only resort to selling its current shares if demand for new stock is not enough to turn the government into a minority stakeholder.

DISTRIBUTION

Meanwhile, the government is still on track to privatize six Eletrobras distributors in the north and northeast by the end of the year, according to Coelho Filho.

He said tariffs for the units could rise in the coming weeks to make them more attractive to investors.

The government plans to use proceeds from the privatization program to reduce its gaping fiscal deficit.