Italy Seeks to Raise Up to $4.2 Billion in Poste IPO

  • IPO price range is between 6 euros and 7.5 euros per share
  • Government plans to sell `slightly less' than 40 percent

Italy plans to raise as much as 3.7 billion euros ($4.2 billion) by selling stock in state postal company Poste Italiane SpA, the country’s biggest initial public offering since it sold a stake in utility Enel SpA in 1999.

The government will offer "slightly less” than 40 percent of the company at a price of between 6 euros and 7.5 euros per share, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The offer could reach 38.2 percent if a greenshoe option is fully exercised. The company would be valued at as much as 9.8 billion euros. The share sale will run from Oct. 12 to Oct. 22.

“This IPO represents an important step within the privatization context” that is being implemented by the Italian government, the Ministry said. “The structure of the privatization will ensure a publicly owned company and stability of the company’s shareholder structure.” Thirty percent of the IPO will be reserved for retail investors.

The sale kicks off a round of privatizations that will include air traffic controller Enav SpA and railway company Ferrovie dello Stato SpA, both planned for next year. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi plans to use the money to help reduce Italy’s 2.3 trillion-euro public debt, the second largest in the euro region.

With about 142,000 employees and more than 13,000 offices across the country, Poste offers Italians both postal and financial services. 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, while Lazard Ltd is a consultant for the Economy Ministry.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected to show the share sale, not trading, begins Oct. 12.)

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