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Centrais Eletricas do Para SA Files for Bankruptcy in N.Y.

Centrais Eletricas do Para SA, a Brazilian utility know as Celpa that was acquired this month by Equatorial Energia SA, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in New York.

The company, based in Belem, Brazil, listed both debt and assets of more than $1 billion in documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Chapter 15 protects foreign companies from U.S. lawsuits and creditor claims while a company reorganizes abroad.

Celpa is asking the U.S. court to recognize the proceeding pending before the Thirteenth Civil Court of Belem, State of Para, as a “foreign main proceeding,” according to court papers.

Celpa filed for bankruptcy protection in Brazil in February after a four-year freeze on rates pushed up debt to about 2.3 billion reais.

Celpa distributes electricity to 7.4 million people in 143 municipalities in the northern Brazilian state of Para, the company said in the February filing.

The case is Centrais Eletricas do Para SA, 12-14568, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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