April 17, 2018 / 7:06 PM / 7 days ago

Brazil government sees Eletrobras sale approval by end of May

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government expects to secure Congressional approval for the privatization of utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6.SA), known as Eletrobras, by the end of May, political affairs minister Carlos Marun said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the headquarters of Brazil's power company Eletrobras in downtown Rio de Janeiro August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

A bill laying out how Eletrobras will be privatized by diluting state control with a capital increase via a secondary offer of shares is currently being debated in committee. A temporary decree authorizing the sale is also before lawmakers.

Marun said another decree was being drawn up to include Eletrobras in the National Privatization Plan which will allow for the funding of studies on the sale of Eletrobras.

The government hopes to raise 12 billion reais ($3.5 billion) from the privatization, which would help it meet its targets in controlling the primary fiscal deficit this year if the plan does not run into opposition by lawmakers worried about losing votes in the October general election.

    Marun said the government’s goal was to avoid resistance to the privatization of Eletrobras in Congress with a transparent plan that would be “vaccinated” against political intrigue.

    “We will make it clear in the text that the capitalization of Eletrobras will only happen with the approval of Congress,” he told reporters.

    The sale of Eletrobras would likely be Brazil’s largest privatization since mining firm Vale SA (VALE3.SA) was sold by the government 20 years ago.

    Eletrobras is Latin America’s largest power company, holding dozens of subsidiaries with operations in power generation, transmission and distribution across Brazil.

    Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello, Leonardo Goy and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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