UPDATE 1-Brazil's Odebrecht to transfer much of stake in Colombia river project
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By Julia Symmes Cobb
BOGOTA May 12 (Reuters) - Construction firm Odebrecht will transfer to another company much of its $847.5 million majority stake in a project to make Colombia's Magdalena River navigable, as it faces corruption allegations in Brazil, Colombian officials said on Thursday.
Odebrecht, Latin America's largest engineering conglomerate, will relinquish 50 to 75 percent of its participation in the Navelena consortium, said Cormagdalena, the government agency overseeing the project.
"This is just the entrance of a new player; it does not mean any change to the value or the timeline of the contract," Cormagdalena head Luis Alvaro Mendoza told Reuters.
Three multinational firms have expressed interest in taking over Odebrecht's stake, Mendoza said, but their names will be kept confidential.
The project contract allows Brazil-based Odebrecht to pass the majority of its 87 percent stake in Navelena to another firm in extraordinary circumstances.
Odebrecht has until June 11, the date major construction works are set to start, to find a substitute, Mendoza said. Otherwise the firm will incur fines for failure to uphold its contract.
Mendoza said he is confident the project will go forward without scheduling delays. Continuación...