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Iberdrola may integrate Neoenergia without raising stake-report
* Iberdrola in talks with partners on the matter: Valor
* Spanish power firm aims to improve results, cut debt
* Chairman Galán says Neoenergia share offering possible
SAO PAULO, July 23 (Reuters) - Iberdrola, Spain's largest energy company, is looking for ways to integrate results of Brazil's Neoenergia into its balance sheet without having to up its stake in the unit, Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Monday.
Iberdrola, like many other Spanish companies, has seen capital costs rise and bank lending tighten as concern rises about the country's ability to pay its debts.
"We don't need to have 51 percent of it to consolidate it," Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán was quoted by Valor as saying. "We need to have legal terms that guarantee that we don't need to change the shareholder structure."
Iberdrola's media office in São Paulo could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Neoenergia, in which Iberdrola is the leading shareholder, is the largest private sector power distributor in Brazil, according to its website. While Iberdrola makes most of the operational decisions at Neoenergia, it shares control with two government-led investors, Previ, Banco do Brasil's employee pension fund, and Banco do Brasil.
After reaching a deal with the other stakeholders in Neoenergia, a share offering cannot be ruled out, Galán added. "When our partners decide to go to the stock exchange, we'll be encouraged to follow them."
Selling assets is also an option for Iberdrola to raise cash.
Brazil's government is studying plans to consolidate the country's 63 power distributors around three main groups -- one led by Eletrobras, another by Cemig, the utility controlled by Brazil's Minas Gerais state, and CPFL, a utility in Brazil's Sao Paulo state, sources told Reuters last month.
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