SAO PAULO, March 26 Brazilian conglomerate
Andrade Gutierrez is looking to sell stakes in power utility
Cemig, hydroelectric dam Santo Antonio and call center group
Contax as it tries to cut debt and expand abroad after a
corruption scandal, its chief executive officer said in a
newspaper interview published on Sunday.
CEO Ricardo Sena told Folha de S.Paulo the group is
negotiating acquisitions in the U.S. and British construction
sectors as it turns away from public works in Brazil that
dragged it into the country's biggest-ever graft investigation.
Andrade Gutierrez was one of the major engineering groups to
reach a leniency deal with antitrust agency Cade in November,
but Sena said progress has been slow in talks with federal
auditing authorities that hold power over public contracts.
Without enough private-sector contracts to make up for lost
government business, Andrade Gutierrez is eyeing the sale of
nearly all of its Brazilian holdings, except for its
construction division and a stake in toll road operator CCR SA
, Sena told Folha.
That includes stakes in state-controlled power utility Cia
Energetica de Minas Gerais, or Cemig, call center
operator Contax Participações SA and the Beira Rio
stadium, home to soccer club Internacional, he said.
The asset sales could bring the group's debt down to 1.6
billion reais ($515 million) from 4 billion reais currently,
Sena told the paper.
Press representatives for Andrade Gutierrez did not
immediately respond to questions about the interview.
($1 = 3.11 reais)
(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)