Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, the country’s biggest utility, said the government may decide on a shortlist of candidates to bid for a 21 percent stake in the company in the next two weeks.
“The decision will be made by the government and we expect it, probably, in the next two weeks,” Chief Executive Officer Antonio Mexia said today in a conference call. Mexia said the new shareholder should support EDP’s strategy in markets like Brazil.
Portugal in April became the third euro-area country after Greece and Ireland to request a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. As part of that aid package, the government will sell its stakes in energy companies including EDP and power grid operator REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais SA by year-end.
Portuguese state holding company Parpublica on Oct. 21 said it received six expressions of interest in the EDP stake, without identifying the companies. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, Latin America’s largest publicly traded power company, and Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais, the Brazilian electricity company known as Cemig, have said they bid for the 21 percent stake in EDP.
Chief Financial Officer Nuno Alves said it’s important for EDP that the government selects a buyer that would not “destabilize” its current credit rating profile. “Obviously, if there is a triple A candidate we will prefer that one to a single B candidate,” he said on the conference call.
The Portuguese government has hired Caixa Banco de Investimento SA and Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisers on the sale of the state’s stakes in EDP and REN.
The selection of bidders will depend on criteria including the price offered for the EDP shares and the presentation of an “adequate strategic project,” according to a government decree on the planned stake sale published this week.
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