March 29, 2017 / 7:51 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Eletrobras hires advisors to sell stakes in power projects

(Adds information from call with analysts, investors)

SAO PAULO, March 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-controlled power holding company Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA hired financial advisers to help sell its stakes in some power projects, Chief Executive Wilson Ferreira Jr. said on Wednesday.

Eletrobras, as the company is known, plans to divest from some power generation and power transmission assets in Brazil where it does not hold controlling stakes, as it tries to reduce debt and free up cash to invest in other projects.

Ferreira told analysts on a conference call that the company is preparing a plan to reduce its workforce. Eletrobras aims to start a voluntary retirement program in April and is in talks with the government regarding incentives for people to leave the company, he said.

Ferreira said a decision by Brazil’s electricity regulator Aneel on Tuesday to ask the company to return 3.7 billion reais ($1.2 billion) to the government due to excessive subsidies is not final and Eletrobras will discuss alternatives with Aneel.

In a securities filing Eletrobras said that holders of Class A and B preferred shares will be paid a minimum 434 million reais in dividends related to 2016 results.

$1 = 3.1174 reais Reporting by Luciano Costa, Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Bill Trott

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