Energy company Edison has initiated exclusive negotiations with Snam, the primary gas grid operator in Italy, regarding the potential sale of its natural gas storage assets in the country, reported Reuters.

The deal could be valued at more than $541.88m.

Edison, a subsidiary of French energy conglomerate EDF, manages three natural gas storage sites in Italy and has been looking for buyers for these assets due to limited expansion opportunities.

In December 2023, Reuters reported that Edison was looking to gauge market interest in its storage operations.

Subsequently, Edison’s storage assets garnered attention, with four Italian and international entities submitting preliminary bids. The potential deal at that time was estimated to be worth in excess of €600m.

The interested parties included Ascopiave, Czech energy company EPH, Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie and Snam.

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Snam, responsible for the majority of Italy’s gas storage infrastructure, is now positioned as the likely acquirer.

Earlier this year, Snam announced plans to invest €11.5bn in Italian gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure by 2027 to address energy security, sustainability and competitiveness.

The investments will target infrastructure across the value chain, including the construction of the Adriatic backbone, dual-fuel compressor stations, and the enhancement of storage and export systems.

It also includes the development of energy transition businesses such as carbon capture and storage; strengthening transport, storage and LNG infrastructure; and developing a European hydrogen network.