Italy’s Treasury raises €1.4 billion by selling 2.8% stake in energy giant Eni

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Italy’s Treasury has successfully sold a 2.8% stake in the energy group Eni, raising approximately 1.4 billion euros ($1.52 billion) as part of its efforts to strengthen the country’s public finances. The sale was conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure (ABB) at 14.855 euros per share, representing a 1.7% discount to the closing price on Wednesday. This move reduces the Treasury’s stake in Eni to 2% from 4.8%, although the government will still maintain significant control over the company, with its overall stake remaining above 30%, including the stake held by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, and UBS acted as joint global coordinators for the placement. As part of the deal, the Italian government has committed not to sell more Eni shares on the market for 90 days without the consent of the global coordinators.

The sale of Eni shares is part of Italy’s broader strategy to reduce its public debt, which is the second largest in the eurozone as a proportion of output. Italy’s public debt is forecasted to rise to 139.8% of GDP in 2026 from 137.3% in 2023 before declining marginally to 139.6% in 2027, according to the latest Treasury estimates. These projections include revenues from asset sales, which are expected to have a cumulative value close to 1% of GDP through 2027.

The Italian government has also indicated its intention to sell all or part of its 29.3% direct stake in the postal service Poste Italiane, while retaining control through another 35% held by CDP. These asset disposals have become more significant as Italy prepares for the end of the period of expansionary fiscal policy triggered by the pandemic, and as the European Union is set to adopt stricter budget rules under the reform of its Stability and Growth Pact.

(Source: Market Watch | Global Capital | Reuters)

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