Enel Is Said to Mull $1.1 Billion Wind, Upstream Asset Sales

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Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, is considering a sale of assets across Europe and Africa that may raise as much as 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

Enel is working with financial advisers on the possible sale of its upstream operations in Algeria, Egypt and Italy, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. It may also sell its renewable energy assets in Portugal, five of the people said. The package of upstream assets and Portuguese assets may each fetch as much as 500 million euros, they said.

No final decision has been made and the company could still decide against the sale of either business, they said.

Enel is exploring potential asset disposals, a spokeswoman for the company said in an e-mailed statement, adding that small and medium-sized transactions will be an integral part of any activity.

Shares of Enel Green Power SpA, the listed unit of Rome-based Enel that holds the renewable assets, climbed as much as 1.2 percent, reversing earlier losses, to 1.81 euros at 3:45 p.m. in Milan. Parent company Enel rose 1 percent to 4.44 euros.

The utility is selling peripheral assets in order to focus on other growth areas in its portfolio amid weak demand in Italy and Spain. Enel is in talks to sell back a stake in the national power utility to the Slovak government, and last month sold a minority stake in a partnership holding its U.S. renewable energy assets to General Electric Co. for $440 million. Last year, it sold a minority stake in its Spanish unit Endesa SA in a public share offering.

Enel’s renewable assets in Portugal include 126 megawatts of capacity across 13 wind farms, as well as minority stakes in several other projects across the country, according to its website. Its upstream business signed contracts last year for two exploration blocks in Algeria, on top of the Isarene and South East Illizi gas projects it’s already developing.

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