Brazil could be the biggest privatization this year

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Brazilians will be the biggest in the world this year.

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 28 - At least four potential bidders have signed up for the auction of concessions managed by Rio de Janeiro State Water and sewage utility Cedae, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The auction, expected to conclude on Friday, could be one of the largest privatizations in Brazil this year and is considered a key step in bolstering the state's s bad finances.

The four concessions are set individually with a minimum bid for all four sold at 10.6 billion reais according to the latest sales. The winner will be announced on Friday.

The Igua Saneamento SA health company, water and sewage firm Aegea, a consortium led by EquatorialEquatorial Energia SA and a consortium involving the sanitation company BRKBRK Ambiental have all registered, said the source who asked anonymity to discuss confidential matters.

Aegea confirmed to Reuters that it had been submitted a bid. Equatorial said it had made an offer in a Wednesday morning securities filing. BRK declined to comment on their position. Igua Saneamento did not respond immediately to a question about comment.

Signing up for the auctions makes the groups eligible to bid but does not necessarily mean that they did eventually do so.

The state development bank BNDES, which is overseeing the auction, did not say which companies had signed up but Guilherme Albuquerque, head of the public/private partnership division of the bank, said: The auction has the interest of the market. It is going to be competitive, and there will be eventful.

BRK is controlled by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

On Tuesday, Brazilian investment firm Aegea announced it would invest 1.3 million reais in Itausa SA.

In late March, the Canadian pension fund Igua Saneamento acquired 45% stake in Canadian pension fund CPPIB for 1.18 billion reais. What is a great phrase to put in a statement?

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