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Brazil's Eletrobras approved the sale of six of its electric power distributors, the state-run power firm reported. The distributors in question are Amazonas Energia, Boa Vista Energia, Centrais Elétricas de Rondônia (Ceron), Companhia de Eletricidade do Acre (Eletroacre), Companhia Energética de Alagoas (Ceal) and Companhia Energética do Piauí.
At a meeting held Thursday, shareholders also decided that Eletrobras will assume the utilities' debts totaling 11.2bn reais (US$3.43bn) and 8.5bn reais of charges relating to credits or liabilities concerning energy development and fuel consumption accounts.
In November last year, the Brazilian government stipulated a symbolic value of 50,000 reais for each distributor, while development bank BNDES estimated their combined value at 10.2bn reais.
Their sale forms part of Eletrobras' privatization, expected to be concluded by April. In addition to paying the symbolic value, buyers will have to contribute 2.4bn reais to the distributors' equity.
The meeting took place amid protests organized by social movements, causing a delay of three hours, as Eletrobras had to obtain judicial authorization to clear access to the meeting's location.
On Monday, a Rio de Janeiro-based union filed a civil suit aimed at stalling the privatization of the six utilities and demanding the meeting's suspension.