January 18, 2019 / 8:08 PM / 8 months ago

Brazil's Copel looking into selling telecoms, gas assets, CEO says

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian state-owned utility Copel (CPLE6.SA) will begin looking this year to divest assets in telecommunications and gas so it can focus on generation, transmission and distribution, its chief executive officer said in an interview on Friday.

The power company, owned by the southern state of Paraná, has a telecommunications subsidiary, Copel Telecom, and a 51 percent stake in gas distributor Compagás.

“The model is not defined. This is a subject we will be diving into from next week,” new Copel CEO and President Daniel Slavieros, a former director of the television channel SBT, told Reuters.

Slavieros said the company will also prioritize investments in the state of Paraná, but did not rule out projects in other states. The company has a presence in 10 states.

The company, he said, should evaluate participating in auctions of new generation and transmission projects, but is always in search of good rates of return and businesses that have synergy with its operations.

“Our level of appetite will be moderate because we first have to reap the rewards of the investments we have already made (and) continue with the work of reducing leverage,” he said.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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