Brazil's Cemig in talks with potential buyers of Light stake
By Roberto Samora
SAO PAULO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA, Brazil's No. 3 power utility, is currently in advanced talks with potential partners with which it would share control of electricity distributor Light SA, Chief Executive Officer Mauro Borges said on Friday.
Several banks that form part of an investment vehicle called Parati SA and shares control of Light with Cemig exercised a put option to exit the partnership. As a result, Cemig has spearheaded talks to find potential investors willing to replace the banks in Parati, Borges told reporters in São Paulo.
"Talks are well advanced ... and we are reaching out to potential partners that not only have financial muscle, but also technology to prop up Light," he said. "A priori, our interest is to keep a direct and indirect stake in Light of about 33 percent."
Cemig, hobbled by declining consumption and years of rampant borrowing, is selling assets with weak returns or extra need for capital spending in a bid to cut debt that topped 13 billion reais ($4 billion) in March. Reuters reported in August that Cemig had hired investment banks to manage the sale of small hydropower dams and a gas distribution unit.
Last week, Cemig sold a transmission company in Chile for $56.5 million. The utility is controlled by the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais - which is facing a serious cash crunch.
Preferred shares of Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based Cemig shed 1.9 percent to 8.39 reais, paring back this year's gains to 48 percent. Continuación...