Italy Sells 2.8% Stake in Eni to Raise €1.4 Billion for Public Finances

Italy Sells 2.8% Stake in Eni to Raise €1.4 Billion for Public Finances

Italy’s Treasury sold a 2.8% stake in energy group Eni on Wednesday, raising approximately 1.4 billion euros ($1.52 billion) to support the country’s public finances.

The transaction was conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure (ABB), with shares placed at 14.855 euros each, reflecting a 1.7% discount to Wednesday’s closing price, according to the Treasury’s statement.

The discount is minimal compared to similar deals, a source familiar with the matter noted.

Once settled, the transaction will reduce the Treasury’s stake in Eni to 2% from 4.8%. However, the government will maintain significant control over Eni with an overall stake still above 30%, as state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) holds another 28.5% stake in the energy group.

Goldman Sachs International, Jefferies, and UBS Europe SE acted as joint global coordinators for the placement.

As part of the agreement, Rome committed not to sell more Eni shares on the market for 90 days without the consent of the global coordinators, the Treasury confirmed.

Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti had raised the prospect of the share sale in November, corroborating a previous Reuters report.

Italy’s public debt, the second largest in the eurozone relative to GDP and closely monitored by rating agencies, is projected to rise to 139.8% of GDP in 2026 from 137.3% in 2023, before slightly decreasing to 139.6% in 2027, based on the latest Treasury estimates from April.

These projections include revenues from asset sales, cumulatively valued at nearly 1% of GDP through 2027.

Asset disposals have gained importance in Italy as the expansionary fiscal policies initiated during the pandemic are set to end next year, when the European Union will implement stricter budget rules under the reformed Stability and Growth Pact.

Rome has already sold a 37.5% stake in bailed-out lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, raising around 1.6 billion euros. The Treasury also plans to sell all or part of its 29.3% direct stake in postal service Poste Italiane, while retaining control through another 35% held by CDP.

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