Brookfield's BRK wins $354 million sanitation auction in Brazil's Maceio

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian sanitation company BRK Ambiental, controlled by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TO, on Wednesday won an auction to run water and sewage services in the northeastern city of Maceio with a 2 billion reais ($354 million) bid.

While 89% of Maceio’s 1.5 million inhabitants have access to water services, only 27% of residents have sewage services. BRK must increase their reach, according to the concession rules.

This auction is the first public-private partnership reached after Brazil approved new rules for the sanitation sector in July. The contract is for 35 years.

Sergio Garrido de Barros, BRK’s chief financial officer, told journalists that the company plans to participate in new sanitation auctions.

Brookfield holds a 70% stake in BRK, while Brazil’s workers’ severance fund FI-FGTS has the remaining part.

($1 = 5.65 reais)

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Lisa Shumaker