Italy’s Treasury has sold a 2.8% stake in oil and gas company Eni, raising approximately €1.4bn.  

The shares were sold for €14.855 apiece, which represents a discount of 1.7% from the closing price on 15 May 2024. 

A person with knowledge of the situation told Reuters that the discount offered is very little when compared with other divestures. 

The sale, which was conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure, is set to lower the Treasury’s holding in Eni to 2% from 4.8%.  

Despite this reduction, the Italian Government will own a third of Eni, with a combined stake of more than 30% held between the Treasury and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which owns another 28.5% stake. 

Goldman Sachs International, Jefferies and UBS Europe were appointed as joint global coordinators for the share placement.  

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As part of the agreement, the government has pledged not to sell additional Eni shares for 90 days without the coordinators’ approval. 

The Eni stake sale is part of the Italian Government’s broader initiative to divest approximately €20bn in company stakes by 2026, including interests in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Poste Italiane. 

According to Bloomberg, the proceeds from these sales will be used to reduce Italy’s debt, which stood at 137% of gross domestic product at the end of the previous year. 

Eni, valued at around €49bn, has been diversifying its portfolio, increasing its involvement in natural gas and renewable energy sectors.  

The company is undergoing a reorganisation that includes the separation of its biochemical business Novamont and the establishment of a dedicated carbon capture unit.  

Additionally, Eni is considering either selling a stake or listing its Enilive refining and fuel division. 

Earlier in the week, reports emerged that Eni is contemplating the divestment of stakes in lucrative oil and gas projects to fund its development while allocating more resources to low-carbon initiatives.