• Renewable energy company is reducing costs, said sources
  • Renova started restructuring after SunEdison canceled deal

The Brazilian renewable energy company Renova Energia SA is considering cutting up to half of its staff this year as part of a plan to reduce costs, two people with the knowledge of the decision said.

Renova hired the consulting company Accenture Plc to come up with the restructuring plan, which is still under development, said three people who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public. A press official for Renova declined to comment on staffing matters and a spokeswoman for Accenture declined to discuss specific clients.

Renova is facing difficulties financing energy projects as funding from private and state-owned banks dries up amid Brazil’s deepest recession in a century. About 80 people, out of a total of about 350, were fired in January, including vice-presidents and directors, the people said. Renova is also considering de-listing from the Brazilian exchange, said one of the people.

The company started restructuring its operations late last year, renegotiating terms and contracts with suppliers after SunEdison Inc. canceled a $250 million deal to buy Light SA’s 16 percent stake in the company. The struggling U.S. clean-energy developer’s TerraForm Global Inc. yieldco unit also pulled out of an agreement to buy share in some Renova units that own about 2.2 gigawatts of power assets.

Renova is seeking to raise as much as 731 million reais by selling new shares, according to a filing Wednesday. Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais, which owns about 27 percent of the company, agreed to inject as much as 240 million reais in capital as part of the plan. A press officer for Cemig, as the utility is known, didn’t respond to calls and e-mails requesting comment.

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