MILAN, June 7 Italian gas group Snam
signed on Thursday an agreement with 11 banks for credit lines
worth 11 billion euros, securing one of this year's biggest
syndicated loan deals as it gears up to separate from oil and
gas major ENI.
"The signing of the agreement represents a further
significant step towards Snam's financial independence from ENI,
a process which remains on schedule," Snam said in a statement.
ENI announced last month the sale of 30 percent of Snam
minus one share to state-controlled holding company CDP for 3.5
billion euros as part of a government-designed plan to separate
the two companies.
ENI plans to sell out of the gas company completely.
The loan is set to refinance the 11 billion euros of debt
that Snam will inherit from ENI when the two companies split.
Snam said this week its board had approved a programme to
issue bonds for a total of up to 8 billion euros by June 2013.
The agreement will provide Snam with banking credit which
will be progressively replaced as it issues the bonds under the
The 11 banks are Banca IMI-Intesa Sanpaolo, Bank of
America-Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citi
, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mediobanca,
Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, UBS
The bank's commitment is subject to the completion of the
related financing contracts by the end of July, Snam said.