Italy's state-controlled energy group Enel, snapped up 73 per cent of the shares of Brazil's power company Eletropaulo for R$5.52bn ($1.48bn) on Monday, formally ending a heated bidding war with Spain's Iberdrola. The deal would make it the largest electricity generator of Latin America's largest country.

The offer was formalised after Eletropaulo's shareholders, which include the investment arm of Brazil's development bank BNDES, accepted the offer on Monday. Enel paid R$45.22 per share, beating the bid of R$39.53 per share put forward by Neoenergía, which is controlled by Iberdrola.

Other bidders in the saga that started in April included Brazil's Energisa. 

Enel, which currently has presence in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Ceará, and Goiás, will gain access to the densely populated area of São Paulo, one of Brazil's largest consumer markets. Enel's clientele will now jump from 10m to 17m in Brazil.

Enel, which has extensive operations in the Americas as well as in Europe, also has vowed to inject "at least" R$1.5bn ($400m) in Eletropaulo.

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