July 23, 2014 / 3:37 PM / in 3 years

CDP Reti to take on debt ahead of stake sale to China Grid-sources

MILAN, July 23 (Reuters) - Italian energy grid holding company CDP Reti will take on around 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in new debt ahead of an expected sale of a minority stake to China’s State Grid Corp, two sources said, in a move that will lower the price tag for the deal.

State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is close to agreeing the sale of a 35 percent stake in CDP Reti to the State Grid Corporation of China, sources close to the matter said on Monday.

CDP Reti, wholly owned by CDP, controls gas grid Snam and will soon receive a controlling stake in power grid Terna currently owned by CDP.

“CDP Reti will receive a 1.5 billion euro syndicated loan from a group of banks and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti itself,” one source with knowledge of the deal said on Wednesday.

Four sources said the pool of banks that will extend the loan includes Banca IMI, BNP Paribas, HSBC , Mediobanca, Societe Generale and UniCredit.

CDP and the lenders were not available for comment. The Treasury, which owns 80 percent of CDP, declined to comment on the deal. ($1 = 0.7425 Euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini and Luca Trogni; editing by Valentina Za)

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