Eni CEO Scaroni Says Ready to Sell Stake in Portugal’s Galp

Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil producer, is ready to sell its 33 percent holding in Portugal’s Galp Energia SGPS, Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said.

The stake in the Lisbon-based company is worth as much as 3.8 billion euros ($5 billion), Scaroni said. Eni bought its stake in Galp in 2000 for 964 million euros and has already returned its investment in dividends and tax benefits, according to Scaroni.

It “has been a very good investment for us,” he told investors today. “As far as price is concerned, we would consider a price which takes into account the market of course, and we will not be ready to sell below the market price.”

Galp has a current market value of 10.6 billion euros, giving Eni’s stake a price of 3.5 billion euros.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, last February ended talks with Eni over the acquisition of the stake in Galp.

In addition, the Italian company will be disposing of its 50 percent stake in Snam SpA, which owns the nation’s natural-gas distribution network, after the government ordered it to offload the holding worth about 5.9 billion euros.

Eni will need to receive sale approval from Amorim Energia BV, the Portuguese investment company holding a third of Galp, and from the Portuguese government before 2014 according to a shareholder agreement, Scaroni said.

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