Three bidders expected at Copel auction tomorrow

The sell-off of Brazilian power utility, Copel will take place at the Rio de Janeiro stock exchange tomorrow where three bidders are expected to compete, having posted the necessary deposit of 400m reais ($150m). Tractebel remain the only multi-national bidder and are likely to face competition from Brazilian private equity firm GP Investimentos and a consortium formed by Brazil’s mining firm Cia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) and industrial group Votorantim.

Bidders can still drop out at the depositing stage, while the final number of bidders would only be clear on Wednesday morning – when they actually show up for the auction. de Janeiro Stock Exchange.

Cia. Paranense de Energia (Copel) is seen by analysts as one of the most attractive and problem-free assets in the electricity sector of Latin America’s largest country.

It had initially caught the eye of a dozen companies but interest cooled in the face of new global economic and political uncertainty as well as regulatory problems in Brazil’s power sector.

The Parana state government on Friday said it would offer a 88.64 per cent voting interest in Copel for 5.068bn reais, higher than before, following a share buyback last week.

The sale could still face delays as privatization opponents are trying to block the process in courts. Officials have already had to overturn two injunctions blocking the sale. “There are still cases running at the state and federal levels,” a spokesman for the southern Parana state told the Reuters news agency. “It’s an unavoidable process for any privatization here… The government’s position remains unaltered – to have the auction on Oct. 31.”

Copel’s generation capacity accounts for 7 cent of Brazil’s total. It has 17 hydroelectric plants and one thermoelectric plant with a total capacity of 4500 MW.

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