Brazil's Taesa seeks to raise $955 mln in IPO

Tue Jul 3, 2012 10:23am EDT

* Taesa, shareholders may sell up to 27.000 units in IPO

* Suggests price of 60 reais to 70 reais a unit in deal

* Comes as initial share sales remain stagnant in Brazil

July 3 (Reuters) - Transmissora Aliança de Energia Elétrica, a unit of power holding company Cemig, plans to raise up to 1.89 billion reais ($955 million) in an initial public offering as risk aversion eases, increasing the appeal of energy deals in Latin America's largest economy.

Rio de Janeiro-based Taesa, as the company is known, and shareholders including Cemig and investment fund FIP Coliseu, agreed to sell 20 million units - a blend of one common share and two preferred shares - as part of the offering, according to a newspaper announcement on Tuesday.

The offering could be increased by 7 million units in the form of supplementary and additional lots, the announcement said. The company will suggest a price per unit to investors of between 60 reais and 70 reais for the IPO.

So far this year, only three Brazilian IPOs have successfully priced - a sign of massive caution with the once-hyped market. Pricing of the Taesa deal is expected by July 18, the same day that global commodities firm Louis Dreyfus Corp hopes to float its local sugar and ethanol unit Biosev in a $548 million IPO.

Currently there are six companies, including energy companies Biosev and Taesa, filing for IPOs in Brazil, which is also an indication that deals in the sector may attract the attention of international investors. Shares for the three companies that sold shares this year are trading below or near their IPO prices.

IPOs, seen for most of the last decade as a symbol of Brazil's buoyant capital markets, have languished the past two years as prices sank for many names that went public. While most markets have gradually recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008, IPOs remain out of favor.

The trend underscores how investors in Brazil are still reluctant to take on risky bets like IPOs, the mechanism that small and sometimes inexperienced companies use to raise capital. Instead, investors are more willing to pour money into existing equity and bonds, where it is easier to assess risks.

Taesa hired the investment-banking units of BTG Pactual , Goldman Sachs Group, Banco Santander , Banco do Brasil and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to manage the transaction.