Brazil's Santa Catarina state legislative assembly has passed a bill that authorizes the state to sell up to 49% of its shares in state utility Casan, the company said in a release.
The sale is estimated to be worth 400mn-500mn reais (US$218mn-272mn). The funds will be channeled back into the company and used for sanitation work in various municipalities, according to state congressman Darci de Matos of the democratic party.
"The state will retain 51% of the shares so it will continue to have control," said Casan president Dalírio Beber.
The next step is for the bill to be forwarded to governor Raimundo Colombo for approval. This will be followed by an evaluation of the company's stock and overall sanitation in the state, which will be carried out by a specialized consultancy company, the release said.
The share sale aims to obtain counterpart funds for loans Casan has taken out to accomplish its 2025 goal of achieving universal sanitation service coverage in the state.
The company has already secured some 1.5bn reais for phase I work towards the 2025 goal. With investments taking place over the next three years, the company's sewerage service coverage should increase to 45% from 16%.