Italy's Eni launches sale of 7 percent stake in Galp Energia

MILAN Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:30pm EDT

The logo of oil company Eni is pictured at its San Donato Milanese headquarters near Milan February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The logo of oil company Eni is pictured at its San Donato Milanese headquarters near Milan February 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas major Eni (ENI.MI) launched the sale of a 7 percent stake in Portuguese utility Galp Energia (GALP.LS) on Thursday, pressing ahead with plans to offload non-core assets and raise cash.

The stake is worth about 670 million euros ($920.5 million) at current market prices, according to Reuters calculations, and Eni said the sale will leave it with about 9 percent of Galp's share capital.

Italy's biggest oil company, which has held as much as a third of the energy company in the past, said the 7 percent stake will be sold through an accelerated bookbuilding process.

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.

It has already reduced its stake in domestic gas transport operator Snam (SRG.MI) in a move that cut Eni's debt by about 14.7 billion euros as it channels resources into exploration and production.

The joint bookrunners for the Galp sale are Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Mediobanca (MDBI.MI).

($1 = 0.7278 Euros)

(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Lisa Jucca and David Goodman)

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