* Eni to place around 6 pct of Galp stake on market
* Stake worth more than 600 mln euros at market prices
* To issue 1.1 bln euros of bonds exchangeable in Galp stock
By Stephen Jewkes
MILAN, Nov 26 Italy's Eni announced
plans on Monday to sell down further its stake in Portuguese
energy company Galp Energia as the oil and gas major
presses ahead with plans to focus cash on upstream development.
State-controlled Eni said it will sell a stake of up to 6
percent in Galp, worth around 607 million euros ($787 million)
at current market prices, by accelerated book building.
At the same time it will launch around 1.1 billion euros of
senior unsecured bonds exchangeable into Galp Energia ordinary
shares. A source close to the operation said the bond was equal
to a stake of up to around 8 percent in Galp.
The joint bookrunners in the operation are Deutsche Bank
, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley and UBS
Pricing of the placement and the bond will take place on
Eni, which has already agreed to sell its Galp stake in
phases, earlier this year sold a 5 percent stake to reduce its
overall holding to just over 28 percent.
That stake was placed at a price of 14.25 euros per share
compared to a current market price of 12.2 euros.
Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni has on several occasions said
the company does not want to remain invested in listed companies
it does not control.
Eni has already sold down its stake in domestic gas
transport operator Snam in a move that cut its debt by
around 14.7 billion euros as it channels resources into its oil
and gas upstream business.
Earlier this year Scaroni said he expected the sale of the
whole 33.34 percent stake in Galp to fetch around 3.5 billion
euros compared with the 900 million euros the group had
In a separate statement, Eni said it had agreed to push back
to the end of 2013 a call option Portugal's Amorim Energia has
on a 5 percent stake in Galp held by the Italian company.
Amorim, which holds around 38 percent of Galp, has a right
of first refusal on a further 5.34 percent of Eni's Galp stake.
Amorim is led by Portuguese entrepreneur Americo Amorim with
participation by Angola's state oil company Sonangol.
Eni, which has committed to sell its Galp stake by the end
of 2013, said in October it had received a lot of interest for
Galp but added the offers had not meet its expectations.