Eni Sells 10% of Saipem for €410M to Fund Energy Shift

Eni initiates €410 million sale of 10% Saipem stake to fund transition to gas and renewable energy.

By Max Weldon

6/11, 12:48 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Eni SpA is selling a 10% stake in Saipem SpA, valued at €410 million ($440 million), through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure.
  • The sale aligns with Eni's "satellite model" strategy to reorganize assets and fund its transition towards gas and renewable energy.
  • Despite the sale, Eni will retain joint control of Saipem as the shares are not covered by the existing shareholders' agreement with CDP Equity.

Eni's Stake Sale in Saipem

Eni SpA, Italy's prominent oil company, has initiated the sale of a 10% stake in offshore drilling services company Saipem SpA. The stake is valued at approximately €410 million ($440 million), according to a statement released by Eni. The sale is being conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure, a method often used to quickly raise capital by selling large blocks of shares to institutional investors. Eni currently holds about 31.19% of Saipem's ordinary shares.

The reference price for the sale is based on Saipem’s closing price of €2.065 per share, as per terms seen by Bloomberg News. The demand for the shares has exceeded the size of the deal, indicating strong investor interest. This sale is part of Eni's broader strategy to reorganize its assets and fund its transition towards gas and renewable energy.

Strategic Reorganization

Eni's Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, is spearheading a reorganization strategy known as the “satellite model.” This approach involves listing various divisions of the company or partnering with external investors to develop them further. The sale of the Saipem stake aligns with this strategy, providing Eni with additional capital to invest in its transition to more sustainable energy sources.

The sale is being coordinated by a consortium of financial institutions, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs International, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, and UniCredit, who are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. This collaboration aims to ensure the successful execution of the sale and maximize the proceeds for Eni.

Impact on Control

It is important to note that the shares being sold are not covered by the existing shareholders' agreement between Eni and CDP Equity, a state lender that partially owns Eni. This means that Eni will not lose joint control of Saipem as a result of this transaction. The company emphasized this point in its statement, reassuring stakeholders that the sale would not affect its governance over Saipem.

Management Quotes

  • Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni:

    "We are pursuing a 'satellite model,' which entails listing divisions or partnering with external investors to develop them."