Neoenergia has just acquired the assets of CEB Distribuição, headquartered in Brasília, in the privatization auction of the state-owned company, held today (12/4). With an investment of R$ 2.5 billion, the company, represented by its subsidiary Bahia Geração de Energia, won the action and foresees significant growth, while keeping the quality and efficiency in its business. Neoenergia CEO Mario Ruiz-Tagle, comments on the company's recent achievement.
What is the strategy for acquiring CEB? What are the next steps?
We intend to grow with top quality assets. Undoubtedly, the distributor in Brasilia is a high-quality company that is in the public world. Its assets allow us to focus essentially on three major issues: investing efficiently, improving the goal of regulatory quality, spending efficiently in the operation to create and provide a space for the tariff modality and along with this, create value for our shareholders.
We will embody a great deal of management to the company, work closely with the government and think that the electric energy represents the vein of Brazil, where the blood flows from Brasilia, this is the energy that we want to transmit and this is the way we will work in the coming months. We will invest where the company needs, in recent years there has been a significant drop in funds and this will be quickly restored.
We understand that the imposed quality goals were one of the incentives for us to participate in the auction. I believe that the work performed by BNDES, the Federal District government and the Ministry of Mines and Energy to provide enough time and to fit the company in such goals will undoubtedly allow us to achieve them. We have investment capacity and a history of growth in our companies. Our strategy is to do with CEB what we do in the group's companies.
How much was the investment to win the auction? Will it impact in any way the company's operation?
We invested more than R$ 2.5 billion to be the winners of this auction, representing the acquisition price of 100% of the shares issued by CEB-D. The company has access to the market, as shown in recent years, with very good conditions and we will do so in the financial market.
Neoenergia's investment execution capacity that can be seen in Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN), Elektro (SP/MS), is historic! We invested significant amounts, in the order of R$ 3.5 billion per year, both in expansion and in improving the network and efficiency. Everyone can rest assured that we, at Neoenergia, know how to do what is necessary in Brasilia, we know the company perfectly well, we have studied it a lot and, therefore, we can offer a price of this magnitude and trust that we will have profitability for our shareholders.
Is it possible to predict whether there will be a tariff reduction? What is your vision in the medium term?
Tariffs are regulated by Aneel, the regulatory agency, through a very technical process and tested for years. We are currently in the fifth cycle of tariff reviews for distribution companies. Our job is to invest to improve quality, to invest efficiently so that investments are properly passed on to the tariff and, most importantly, we have a challenge, which is to provide enough energy and at a reasonable cost, for the growth of the Brazil. This is our focus.
Neoenergia is a publicly-held company with shares (NEOE3) traded at the São Paulo Exchange. A company of the Spanish Group Iberdrola, it operates in Brazil since 1997, and currently it is one of the leaders in the country's electric sector. With presence in 18 states , its businesses are divided in the areas of energy generation, transmission, distribution and trading. Its distributors, Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN), Elektro (SP/MS), serve more than 14 million customers, representing a population over 34 million people.
Neoenergia holds 4 GW in generation, being 88% in renewable energy, and has 1 GW being implemented through the construction of new wind farms. In the transmission segment, it has 679-km lines in operation and around 5,000 km under construction. Through Neoenergia Institute, is fosters the sustainable development based on social and environmental actions, thus contributing to improve the quality of life in the communities where it operates, mainly focused in more vulnerable individuals and always fostering for sustainable development. As of January 2021, Neoenergia joins the B3 Corporate Sustainability Index portfolio - Brazil, Bolsa, Balcão - which brings together companies that have the best corporate governance and sustainability practices.