February 27, 2019 / 4:28 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Eletrobras privatization plan could be ready by June -minister

(Adds details of the plan, context)

By Luciano Costa

SAO PAULO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A plan to transfer to private investors a controlling stake at Latin America’s largest power firm, Brazil’s Eletrobras, could be ready as soon as June, Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said on Wednesday.

Albuquerque said the Brazilian government wants to discuss the plan in detail with lawmakers before it sends the proposal for a vote in the Congress.

The privatization likely will happen through a capitalization plan in which new shares would be offered to investors in a process that would dilute the largest shareholder, the Brazilian government, to such a level that it will no longer hold a controlling stake.

With the capitalization, Eletrobras, or Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA, will have money for investments and to pay fees to renew operating licenses for most of the several power plants it manages in Brazil.

“My personal will is to have a plan built jointly with the Congress, not using some old proposal,” Albuquerque told reporters in Sao Paulo, referring to a bill sent to lawmakers in the previous government of Michel Temer, who originally launched the idea for the nation to cede control of the power group.

That way, the minister said, it could be quicker to reach consensus and approval for the proposal.

Eletrobras manages power plants that generate about a third of Brazil’s electricity needs. It also controls power transmission lines that account for half the electricity transported throughout the country. (Reporting by Luciano Costa Writing by Ana Mano and Marcelo Teixeira Editing by Bill Trott)

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