August 22, 2017 / 3:28 PM / 2 years ago

Eletrobras sale terms may put off strategic bidders: Engie Brasil CEO

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The terms of the proposed privatization of Brazilian power utility Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA (ELET5.SA) known so far are likely to attract mainly financial sector buyers, Eduardo Sattamini, chief executive of Engie Brasil, said on Tuesday.

The retention of a golden share giving the government veto powers in Eletrobras corporate decisions after the sale may drive away strategic investors such as Engie, he said at an event in Sao Paulo.

“It is harder for an operator to participate in such a model. It is easier for a financial player, as the case was with Bradesco when Vale was privatized,” Sattamini said referring to the privatization of mining concern Vale SA VALE5.SA in 1997 and the participation of one of Brazil’s largest banks.

Engie could not be a minority investor in a business in which it lacked decision power as a manager, Sattamini said.

The executive said Engie remains interested in Eletrobras assets in case it maintains previously announced plans to sell any separately, Sattamini said.

Engie may also bid for the expired licenses of dams operated by Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CMIG4.SA) despite legal disputes hampering the process. On Monday, a ruling from a federal court suspended the auction of four dams known as São Simão, Jaguara, Miranda and Volta Grande.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Tuesday in Brasília the government is still refining the terms for the Eletrobras sale. The government is also keeping the auction of the Cemig dams, which is scheduled for Sept. 27, Meirelles said.

The government calculates proceeds from the Cemig dam auctions to be around 11 billion reais ($3.50 billion).

Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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