* Deal could be announced as soon as Friday -source
* EnBW, Eni both decline to comment
(Recasts, adds details, background, no comment from Eni)
FRANKFURT, July 10 Utility EnBW has
agreed to buy out Eni's 50 percent stake in a German
gas grid joint venture to take full ownership, two sources
familiar with the matter said, to take advantage of the stable
income from regulated assets.
An announcement about the deal, expected to be worth more
than 150 million euros ($205 million), could be made as soon as
Friday, one of the sources said.
Germany's EnBW and Italy's Eni both declined to comment.
Eni said in October it was in talks with EnBW over the
future of EnBW/Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft, amid speculation the
oil and gas group could sell its stake.
The joint venture controls gas transmission network
TerraNets BW and gas supplier Gasversorgung Sueddeutschland
The deal was previously reported by daily Stuttgarter
Zeitung and the Wall Street Journal Deutschland, citing sources.
Sources previously said the joint venture, which operates a
2,000 km gas pipeline system in the German state of
Baden-Wuerttemberg, could be worth about 300 million euros.
Regulated power and gas networks have become attractive
assets for utilities, which are suffering from falling profits
as a result of weak energy demand and a massive boom in
renewable energy capacity across Europe.
Last month, EnBW, Germany's third-biggest utility, said it
would take 1.5 billion euros in one-off charges for the first
half of the year, citing a gloomy outlook for power prices,
which has already prompted rivals to book billions in
($1 = 0.7331 Euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Additional reporting by
Francesca Landini; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark
Potter and Jane Baird)