Brazilian state power giant Furnas Centrais Eletricas is in the market with a R$336 million ($119 million) receivables investment fund (FIDCs) backed by a mix of three loans that the company was keen to get off its books, according to a source familiar with the transaction. Banco Santander is arranging the deal and also acting as asset manager, a role akin to that of trustee in the FIDC structure.

Moody's Investors Service has rated the transaction Aa3.br' on the national scale and Ba2' on the local currency global scale, perhaps signaling an aggressive push into the sector, given that the agency has been less active than its peers in rating FIDCs. The Furnas fund is closed-ended and has a 4.5-year tenor, with a legal final maturity of April 2009.

The roadshow kicked off last week, with Santander taking the pitch to Sao Paulo on Tuesday and Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, according to a well-placed source.

Furnas was initially seeking to tap into government obligations (see ASR 3/8/04), but later decided to procure funding elsewhere. The assets backing the fund are a R$164 million loan with CEMAT, an electric distributor operating in the state of Matto Grosso; a R$52 million loan with Proman, a power producer in Mato Grosso as well; and a R$126 million loan linked to a utility tariff surcharge.

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