Portugal Raises 356 Million Euros in Sale of 4% Stake in EDP

Portugal raised about 356 million euros ($475 million) by selling 4.14 percent of utility EDP-Energias de Portugal SA to meet the terms of a 78-billion euro bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Portugal sold 151.5 million shares in its biggest power producer to institutions at 2.35 euros each, Lisbon-based state holding company Parpublica SGPS SA said in a statement. Caixa-Banco de Investimento and Morgan Stanley arranged the offer.

EDP dropped 3.2 percent to close at 2.345 euros in Lisbon. The stock was suspended from trading earlier today after closing yesterday at 2.42 euros, the highest in 13 months.

Portugal, selling assets to comply with the bailout, has also sold holdings in power-grid operator REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais SA and airport operator ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA.

Stock sold today backed exchangeable bonds issued in 2007 by Parpublica. The firm in December said it was reimbursing the bonds after most holders exercised an option to redeem them. The government on Oct. 31 approved the sale of 4.1 percent in EDP through an accelerated bookbuilding or a competitive sale.

China Three Gorges Corp. Chairman Cao Guangjing on Dec. 20 had said his company was discussing the purchase of 4 percent in EDP. Portugal’s government in December 2011 agreed to sell 21 percent in EDP to China Three Gorges for 2.69 billion euros.

Former monopoly EDP is investing in dams and wind turbines in Europe and Brazil to cut reliance on oil and coal, and tap state incentives for alternative energy. It plans to invest 2.1 billion euros a year on average through 2015 and sees installed capacity up 14 percent at 26.4 gigawatts in 2015 from 2011. Hydropower and wind will be 73 percent of EDP capacity in 2015.

(Updates with closing shares in third paragraph.)
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