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Apr 23, 2015

Eni CEO drafts in former boss to pave way for Saipem sale

MILAN, April 23 (Reuters) – Stefano Cao has been brought
back by Eni to turn around the oil service subsidiary
Saipem that he spent nearly 25 years working for and
prepare it for a sale, according to people familiar with the
plan.

Italian state-controlled oil major Eni has been mulling for
years the idea of cutting its 43 percent stake in Saipem to
somewhere below 30 percent, mainly to get 4.4 billion euros
($4.7 billion) of debt off its balance sheet that has been a
brake on its own growth.

Apr 14, 2015

Agnellis’ Exor bids $6.4 bln for PartnerRe to trump Axis

MILAN, April 14 (Reuters) – Italian holding company Exor
, which controls carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
, offered $6.4 billion in cash to buy U.S. reinsurer
PartnerRe, trumping an earlier all-share deal with Axis
Capital Holdings Ltd.

Earlier this year, Axis and PartnerRe agreed an all-share
$11 billion merger to create one of the world’s largest
reinsurers in a deal that was expected to close in the second
half of this year.

Apr 14, 2015

Saipem in pole position to win Turkish Stream contracts – sources

MILAN, April 14 (Reuters) – Italian oil services group
Saipem is in constant touch with Gazprom
over its plans to build the Turkish Stream pipeline and is in
pole position to win contracts if the project goes through, four
sources close to the matter said.

Russia is looking to build Turkish Stream as an alternative
to the South Stream pipeline that it shelved last year in the
face of objections from the European Union.

Apr 13, 2015

Utility Enel considers joining Italy’s broadband market – sources

MILAN, April 13 (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest utility Enel
is considering entering the broadband
telecommunications market, three sources close to the matter
said on Monday, as the government looks to kick start a 12
billion euro ($12.7 billion) plan to roll out fast networks
across the country.

The sources did not disclose a figure, but said it was
unlikely debt-laden Enel would put money into laying fibre
cables. It could instead provide lines and cabinets from its
nation-wide power distribution network as well as technology.

Apr 13, 2015

Dodge & Cox increases stake in Italy’s Saipem

MILAN (Reuters) – U.S. investment company Dodge & Cox has increased its stake in Italy’s Saipem (SPMI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), strengthening its position as the oil contractor’s second-largest shareholder at a time when main owner Eni (ENI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking to sell down its holding.

Dodge & Cox, which in March doubled its stake in Saipem to 10.4 percent, bought a further 1.48 percent stake between March 11-27, according to filings seen on Monday.

Apr 10, 2015

Italy’s A2A utility talks tie-ups, seeks reshape

MILAN, April 10 (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest regional utility
A2A is discussing possible tie-ups as it sets out to
shut unprofitable power plants and focus on waste and grid
businesses.

Italy has more than 1,500 utilities controlled by cities and
regions and the government has introduced incentives to promote
mergers and make the sector more efficient.

Apr 8, 2015

Enel Green Power looks to Asia for next phase of growth

MILAN (Reuters) – Enel Green Power (EGP) is stepping up its expansion in Africa and will turn to Asia next as it chases growing energy demand in emerging economies, the head of Italy’s biggest renewable energy company told Reuters.

In recent years EGP, controlled by Europe’s No. 2 utility Enel, has invested heavily in Latin America, shifting its focus from mature European markets to fast-growing emerging markets with clear regulations and abundant natural resources.

Mar 31, 2015

Milan mosque row shows Italian divisions over integration

MILAN (Reuters) – One afternoon in 2009, over a thousand Muslims knelt before Milan’s Duomo cathedral and prayed. The gesture, ostensibly about an Israeli bombing campaign, focused minds on the growing number of Muslims in Italy’s business capital and their desire for a recognized place of worship.

The mosque they were calling for was never built, mainly due to red tape and administrative inertia. But, six years on, the Charlie Hebdo shootings by Islamist militants in Paris have catapulted the issue back to center stage.

Mar 26, 2015

Saipem close to Nigeria jv deal after China success – source

MILAN, March 26 (Reuters) – Italy’s Saipem is
close to signing a joint venture with a big local partner in
Nigeria just days after clinching a similar deal in China with
PetroChina as the oil contractor seeks access to new
markets.

Saipem, 43 percent owned by Italian oil major Eni,
has seen some 10 billion euros ($11 billion) wiped off its
market value over the past two years after two profit warnings,
a corruption investigation in Algeria and a worsening outlook.

Mar 20, 2015

ChemChina close to Pirelli deal that would trigger buyout offer

MILAN (Reuters) – China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) is close to becoming the biggest single shareholder in Pirelli (PECI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a deal that would trigger a 7 billion euro ($7.5 billion) buyout of the Italian tire company.

Three sources familiar with the deal, which would be the latest in a string of Chinese investments in large Italian companies, said ChemChina was discussing a deal with Pirelli’s top shareholders to buy a holding company called Camfin, which owns 26 percent of Pirelli and is 50 percent owned by Russia’s Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

    • About Stephen

      "Based in Milan, I cover the Italian energy sector for the Italian team. I have followed energy in Italy for the last 10 years, previously for Bridge News, AFX and Thomson."
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