UPDATE 1-Italy's Eni to sell 11.7 pct stake in Snam

Thu May 9, 2013 12:23am IST

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* Stake worth around 1.5 bln euros at market prices
    * Eni to give details on sale on Thursday
    * Eni will hold 8.5 pct of Snam via convertible bond


    MILAN, May 8 (Reuters) - Italy's Eni will sell an
11.7 percent stake in Snam, worth around 1.5 billion
euros ($1.98 billion) at market prices, as it makes good on a
pledge to exit the gas transport company.
    Eni said on Wednesday at the end of the sale it would own a 
8.54 percent stake in Snam linked to a 1.25 billion euro
convertible bond it placed in January. 
    Last year the Italian government introduced a decree calling
on the oil major to sell its controlling stake in Snam in an
effort to improve competition in the gas sector and reduce gas
prices.
    State-controlled financing company Cassa dei Depositi e
Prestiti bought a stake of just under 30 percent of Snam in a
deal that nets Eni 3.517 billion euros in cash and lifts around
11 billion euros of Snam debt off its balance sheet. 
    The Italian government considers Snam's gas transport
network and the power grid of Terna strategic assets
and is keen for CDP to keep control of them. 
    Eni said in a statement it would sell 395.3 million shares
in Snam through an accelerated bookbuilding process, adding
final details of the operation would be announced on Thursday.
    The shares will be placed with institutional investors JP
Morgan and UniCredit as joint bookrunners, it said.
    Snam shares closed on Wednesday at 3.848 euros.    
    Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni has on several occasions
said the company does not want to remain invested in listed
companies it does not control.
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