Brazil's CSN gauges sale, partner for Tecon amid debt relief -sources

miércoles 6 de abril de 2016 15:06 GYT

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO, April 6 (Reuters) - Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA is assessing options besides a sale for container terminal operator Sepetiba Tecon SA after a loan refinancing deal gave the debt-laden Brazilian steelmaker a respite, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Apart from a full sale, which remains the top option, CSN could look for a minority partner to help expand Tecon, said three of the sources, who requested anonymity because the process is private. Joint ventures are also under consideration, the sources added.

Talks with potential buyers, which include Wilson Sons Ltd , PSA International Pte Ltd, Santos Brasil Participações SA and buyout firm Advent International Corp, are still ongoing, the sources said.

A fourth source said talks have stalled, although they are "far from over."

A price for Tecon is not being discussed at this point, the sources noted, although bidders seem inclined to pay less than the 1.2 billion reais ($328 million) that Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Steinbruch is believed to want.

Steinbruch, CSN's controlling shareholder, is resisting pressure to sell Tecon for less despite a 28 percent slump in CSN's cash holdings last year, one source estimated.

São Paulo-based CSN declined to comment, as did Santos Brasil, Wilson Sons and Boston-based Advent.

Singapore-based PSA did not have an immediate comment.   Continuación...