UPDATE 2-Brazil lets Goais state assume power company Celgpar's debt

jueves 21 de julio de 2016 17:16 GYT

(Adds comment from Brazil interim president's chief of staff)

By Alonso Soto

BRASILIA, July 21 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government on Thursday authorized the state of Goias to assume 1.9 billion reais ($583 million) of debt owed by its energy holding company Celg de Participações (Celgpar), paving the way for some of its assets to be privatized.

The National Monetary Council, the country's highest economic policy body, said in a statement the measure would make Celgpar's assets more attractive to buyers.

Celgpar and federal government-controlled utility holding company Eletrobras control power distributor Centrais Elétricas de Goiás SA (Celg-D).

U.S. power utility AES Corp, Italy's Enel SpA and several Brazilian utilities have shown preliminary interest in buying Celg-D, a group organizing the sale and a source briefed on the plan said in February.

Eliseu Padilha, chief of staff for Brazil's Interim President Michel Temer, said later on Wednesday that executives of Italian utility Enel had visited him and showed interest in purchasing Celg-D.

Finance Ministry economic adviser Viviane Varga said the loans to Celgpar were made by federal government-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal.

Varga added that the debt-transfer measure is limited to a 2014 credit operation with Celgpar and cannot be used to benefit other debt-ridden electricity distributors.   Continuación...