Copel, the integrated power company being sold off by Brazil’s Parana state has been valued at 10.6bn Brazilian Real ($4.25bn) with the state government setting a minimum bidding price of 4.3bn Real on Wednesday, for the 45 per cent stake being made available.

Copel has nearly 4500 MW of generating capacity and distributes more than 22 600 GWh of power to some 2.8m customers. It is regarded as one of the most efficient and financially attractive state power companies but is being sold against a background of instability in the Brazilian power market.

Analysts said the price, which equals R$35 per voting share, was largely in line with market expectations and reflected a premium for control of the company. Copel’s share price closed at R$23.6 on Wednesday. Copel’s planned sale on October 31 is seen as a key test of investor confidence in Brazil’s power sector.

Copel posted a net income of $235m last year. The sale has attracted interest from nine companies: AES of the US, Endesa of Spain, Electricit´┐Że France, Hydro Quebec of Canada, Belgium’s Tractebel, Germany’s RWE, Duke Energy and NRG of the US, and Enel Power of Italy.