MILAN (Reuters) - The main investors in Italy’s Saipem said on Thursday they would ask shareholders to reappoint Stefano Cao as chief executive of the oil service company.
CDP Equity, owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), and oil major Eni included Cao’s name in a slate of directors they will propose at a Saipem shareholder meeting in May.
“Stefano Cao is the candidate who possesses the required professional skills to be confirmed as CEO of the company,” they said in a joint statement.
Shares in the oil services company have dropped more than 80 percent in the last three years as the sector languishes from lower spending by oil majors and there has been speculation Cao, a former Eni manager, might not be confirmed.
The company, which last month said it expected revenues to fall this year, is looking to develop new lines of business in an effort to boost order books.
The two parties vying to form a government in Italy following last month’s election recently told the outgoing administration it should not name new chiefs of state-controlled companies without consulting them first.
State-controlled Eni and CDP Equity, which respectively own 30.5 percent and 12.5 percent of Saipem, control the oil contractor through a shareholder agreement.
They said they would propose former Post Office CEO Francesco Caio as Saipem chairman.
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Valentina Za and Alison Williams