VERONA, Italy Italy's biggest utility Enel SpA has received more than 10 indications of interest for a stake of upto 49 percent in its renewable energy unit, Enel Green Power, a top company executive said.
The sale is part of a series of asset disposals Enel has tabled to help cut its roughly 50 billion euros ($67 billion) of debt and keep its "A" credit rating.
"We have received more than 10 manifestations of interest from foreign and Italian institutional investors," Francesco Starace, chairman of Enel Green Power, told Reuters on the sidelines of a solar energy conference in northern Italy.
Enel will decide how to sell the stake by the end of this year, he said. Expressions of interest have arrived "from all over the world."
Starace said the idea was to bring on board 2 or 3 strategic investors or as a possible alternative to list the stake.
He said a recent valuation of the unit of 11-12 billion euro was "indirect."
"A more thorough evaluation is needed based on discounted cash flows, etc," he said.
In April, Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said the company could sell up to 49 percent of the unit in a deal that could raise 6 billion euros.
In 2010-2011 Enel Green Power aims to start up a plant with an annual capacity of 480 megawatt to produce thin film photovoltaic cells. Capacity could be doubled if there was market demand, Starace said.
Enel shares edged 0.06 percent lower at 4.27 euros by 1049 GMT, underforming the 0.87 percent rise in the DJ Stoxx utilities index.
(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by David Cowell)