The Brazilian government will seek to sell a massive block of shares in what is currently the state-controlled utilities holding company, Eletrobras, the Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement Monday night. The ministry said the effort would be “similar to what the government achieved with Vale and Embraer.” Sales of government shares in those two companies in the 1990s amounted to an effective privatization. Vale is Brazil’s biggest mining company while Embraer is a major manufacturer of aircraft and parts. In its statement Monday, the Ministry did not specify that it would fully privatize Eletrobras. However, it said it would sell enough shares to assure “a democratization of ownership,” with the government maintaining a so-called “golden share” but ceding effective control over the company’s operations to a board-of-directors elected by shareholders. A “golden share” would give the government veto power over certain decisions. The Ministry will present its plan to the governing council of the Investment Partnership Program (PPI).
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