April 23, 2018 / 12:59 PM / 3 months ago

Brazil regulator sets May 18 as Eletropaulo auction bid deadline

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian securities regulator CVM has set a May 18 deadline for companies to bid for Eletropaulo Metropolitana SA (ELPL3.SA) in a live auction on Brazil’s stock exchange, the company said.

Eletropaulo shares jumped 6.3 percent to trade at 30.78 reais as European groups Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC) and Enel SpA (ENEI.MI) have engaged in a bidding war for Brazil’s largest power distribution company.

Competing bids will be presented to the Sao Paulo stock exchange on May 18, the company said in securities filings over the weekend, with bids to be delivered by 4 p.m. local time (3.00 p.m. ET), according to Brazilian stock exchange operator B3 SA.

Three competitors - Brazil’s Neoenergia SA, controlled by Spain’s Iberdrola; Enel and Brazilian rival Energisa SA (ENGI11.SA) - have already bid.

Late on Friday, Neoenergia bid 29.40 reais per Eletropaulo share, topping Enel’s offer of 28 reais per share.

Enel is ready to raise its bid, Newspaper Valor Economico reported on Monday, citing sources.

Eletropaulo’s board announced in a securities filing later on Monday it has decided to keep a proposed follow-on offer to raise 1.5 billion reais ($439.51 million) as announced last week.

Eletropaulo plans to issue the new shares to reduce its debt.

Enel declined to comment.

Reporting by Luciano Costa and Carolina Mandl in Sao Paulo and Jake Spring in Brasilia; additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan; writing by Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Frances Kerry and G Crosse

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