Italy's Eni to sell 30 % in Snam to state lender for $4.36 bn

Italy's oil and gas company Eni S.p.A. will sell 30 per cent less one share in natural-gas operator Snam to state-controlled lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) for €3.517 billion ($4.36 billion).

Eni will sell 30 per cent of its stake minus one share to CDP for €3.47 a share – a 3 per cent premium over its market price over the past 30 days – for a total of €3.517 billion.

The sale comes after the Italian government this month issued a decree that required Eni to offload at least 25.1 per cent of Snam - Italy's biggest gas grid, storage and distribution company by volume to state financing agency CDP as part of its plan to boost competition in Italy's gas pipeline network.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's government, while taking office in November 2011, had promised to open up the energy market in order to reduce the country's €1.9 trillion public debt.

The government last week issued a decree ordering state-controlled Eni to sell its 52 per cent stake in Snam with a rider that at least 25.1 per cent to be sold to CDP, while the rest can be sold to investors.