Eletrobras to present restructuring plan Thursday, source says

Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:25am EDT

* Rate cuts to cost Eletrobras $4.3 billion/year

* Restructuring plan to be released at earnings event

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 27 (Reuters) - Eletrobras plans to announce a restructuring aimed at bringing the Brazilian state-led utility's plans in line with government-imposed cuts in power rates, a source with direct knowledge of the subject told Reuters on Wednesday.

The company will announce the restructuring during a press conference on Thursday, the source said. The press conference was scheduled to discuss fourth quarter and full-year 2012 financial results of Eletrobras, which is formally known as Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras.

The restructuring plan is on the agenda of a Wednesday board meeting, Eletrobras Chief Executive Officer Jose da Costa Carvalho Neto said earlier in the day.

Eletrobras will lose an estimated 8.7 billion reais ($4.3 billion) in annual revenue as a result of a government plan that renewed expiring hydroelectric dam rights in exchange for a reduction in rates.

Without the renewals, the hydroelectric dam rights, known as concessions, would have been taken over by the government and auctioned to the highest bidder.

One possibility under consideration is for Eletrobras to sell money-losing electricity distribution utilities that the federal government made the company take on in recent years.