August 30, 2017 / 9:08 PM / a year ago

Brazil's Equatorial Energia wants to bid for Cesp, sources say

SAO PAULO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Equatorial Energia SA is among the companies interested in bidding for the control of Companhia Energética de São Paulo, which will be auctioned on Sept. 26, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The state of São Paulo will auction its controlling stake in the company, which operates three hydroelectric dams, for a minimum price of around 2 billion reais ($633 million).

Lawyers and bankers say the interest for Cesp seems to be weaker than for similar assets sold recently. “The dams’ operation licenses expire between 2020 and 2028, and that may explain the low investors’ turnout”, said Jose Roberto Oliva Júnior, partner at law firm Pinheiro Neto Advogados.

The sources say China Three Gorges Corp may also bid. The persons could not speak for attribution because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Cesp, as the power company is known, Equatorial and Three Gorges declined to comment. Banco Fator SA, adviser to São Paulo State in the privatization process, also declined to comment. ($1 = 3.1584 reais) (Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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