Italy Plans to Sell as Much as 40% of State Postal System

Italy is proceeding with a plan to sell as much as 40 percent of the country’s postal system, the biggest disposal of a state asset by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government as it seeks to cut public debt.

The government may raise as much as 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) from the initial public offering, valuing the postal carrier at about 10 billion euros, according to a person familiar with the IPO plan. Italy also aims to privatize state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato SpA next year as Renzi seeks to rein in Europe’s second-largest public debt after Greece.

The sale of shares in Poste Italiane SpA is scheduled to be completed by the end of October, the Economy Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The postal company said earlier today it filed the IPO information document to stock market regulator Consob as well as a request to list shares on the Italian Exchange in Milan.

Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA’s Banca IMI SpA, Mediobanca SpA and UniCredit SpA are leading a group of 10 banks managing the IPO. Rothschild is advising Poste Italiane, while Lazard Ltd. is a consultant for the Economy Ministry.

With more than 13,000 offices across the country, Poste offers Italians both postal and financial services. Poste Italiane had first-half net income of 435 million euros.