(Adds that change of auction rules was requested by Neoenergia)
MADRID/SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - A court order requested by one of the companies contending for control of Brazilian power distribution company Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de Sao Paulo SA has postponed the bids for the company to June 4.
Eletropaulo said in a securities filing that a court had changed the rules for the auction, cancelling plans for Enel SpA and Neoenergia SA to make bids on Thursday.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter, the order was requested by Neoenergia, controlled by Spain’s Iberdrola SA, as the company claimed the rules allowing for a third party to enter the bidding process without disclosing its price were unfair.
The rules suspended by the court requested final bids to be presented by Neoenergia and Enel late on Thursday. Then on June 4, third parties would have been allowed to make competing bids, in which case the two companies could make new offers.
Neoenergia argued the rules were unfair as current bidders would have to disclose their strategy beforehand, but not a potential third party, according to the source.
The court determined that all contenders will now present their bids together on an auction in the stock exchange on June 4. (Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez in Madrid, Marcelo Teixeira and Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)