RPT-Spain min: Bolivia takeover of REE unit legitimate

Thu May 3, 2012 12:01pm EDT

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MADRID May 3 (Reuters) - Spain's foreign minister said on Thursday Bolivia had made a legitimate decision to nationalise a local subsidiary of Spanish power transmission company Empresa Transportadora de Electricidad (TdE), owned by Red Electrica EspaƱola.

Spain's economy minister had initially criticised the move but said Bolivia had guaranteed compensation.

The Bolivian government said the company had failed to invest enough in the country and that an independent body would value within six months how much it should pay for the company.

"(It is) perfectly legitimate," Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told journalists in Madrid, according to media reports.

He also said the move from Bolivian President Evo Morales had nothing to do with the decision from Argentina's Cristina Fernandez in April to nationalise YPF, the Argentine subsidiary of Spanish utility Repsol.

Red Electrica indirectly holds 99.9 percent of TdE, which reported net profits of 12.5 million euros ($16.4 million) last year, less than 3 percent of Red Electrica's 2011 net profits. ($1 = 0.7603 euros) (Reporting by Julien Toyer, editing by Jane Baird)

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