October 10, 2016 / 11:47 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Duke Energy to sell Brazilian unit for about $1.2 bln

(Adds deal details and company background)

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp said it agreed to sell its Brazilian unit to clean energy company China Three Gorges Corp for about $1.2 billion, including debt, as it focuses on regulated power markets in the United States.

The biggest U.S. power company by generation capacity said it was also negotiating the sale of its remaining assets in Central and South America.

Duke Energy owns 2,090 megawatts (MW) of power generation facilities in Brazil. It has eight hydroelectric plants, with 2,057 megawatts of capacity located on the border between the states of Sao Paulo and Parana.

The company also owns two small hydroelectric plants, each with a capacity of 16.5 MW, located on the Sapucai Mirim River in northern Sao Paulo state.

In February, Duke Energy said it was looking to sell its international assets as it looks to drive more stable earnings and cash flow growth from the United States.

The international business has been hurt by a weak Brazilian currency and economy, as well as drought conditions that affected the company’s power generation capacity in the country.

The business, which spans Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru, accounted for nearly 5 percent of Duke Energy’s total operating revenue in 2015.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy owns 4,400 MW of power generation facilities and sells and markets electric power, natural gas and natural gas liquids in Central and South America.

Duke Energy said it would use proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt. The company had long-term debt, including items, of about $39.93 billion as of June 30.

The company’s financial advisers were Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan and its legal adviser was Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. (Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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