(Wraps separates, adds details, updates shares)
MILAN Feb 14 Investment firm Blue Flame said on
Friday it had sold its 8.7 percent stake in Italian gas
distribution company Ascopiave.
The stake, offered to Italian and foreign institutional
investors via an accelerated bookbuild, was sold at a price of
1.74 euros per share, a source close to the matter told Reuters,
at a discount to the group's Thursday closing price of 1.96
Investment fund Amber Capital bought part of the stake, two
sources close to the situation added. "Amber bought a
significant stake," said one of the sources, referring to a
holding of more than 2 percent. "Several investors have come
in," the source said.
Blue Flame invested in the gas group in 2008 and gradually
increased its stake to become Ascopiave's second-biggest
shareholder, it said in a statement.
"Blue Flame expresses its satisfaction with the results of
this investment and confirms its confidence in the growth
prospects of Ascopiave," it said.
Ascopiave's shares fell as much as 7.6 percent to a
five-week low and were down 4.16 percent at 1.89 euros by 0940
GMT, compared with a 0.95 percent rise in Milan's All-Share
index. Ascopiave had no immediate comment.
Equita and Intermonte were acting as joint bookrunners in
the deal, while Nextam Partners was the financial advisor.
(Reporting by Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, Claudia Cristoferi
and Valentina Za, writing by Agnieszka Flak. Editing by Jane