(Adds information from seller Eletrobras, context)
SAO PAULO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. power utility AES Corp , Italy’s Enel and several Brazilian rivals have shown preliminary interest in buying state-controlled power distributor Centrais Elétricas de Goiás SA (Celg-D), a group organizing the sale and a source briefed on the plan said.
According to a website created by Brazil’s Eletrobras, which has a controlling stake at Celg-D, Energisa SA, CPFL Energia SA, Enel, Equatorial SA and AES took part in a meeting on Thursday to discuss the sale’s process at the Sao Paulo offices of World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
IFC was hired to structure the deal.
A source familiar with the process, who requested anonymity, said Brazil’s Neoenergia, although not present at the meeting, is also looking at the asset.
Energisa and Neoenergia declined to comment. Enel, Equatorial and CPFL had previously said they were interested. The others did not immediately return requests for comment.
Eletrobras, or Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA, Brazil’s largest power holding company, is considering selling stakes in several distribution companies to focus on power generation and transmission.
The move underscores President Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to streamline the size of state companies, whose rapid growth of recent years have put public finances under pressure.
The Celg-D auction is expected to take place in March. The company estimates a minimum selling price of 2.8 billion reais ($717 million).
$1 = 3.90 reais Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama