Eni SpA sold its remaining 4% stake in Portugal’s Galp Energia for 325 million euros ($347.7 million) as the Italian oil and gas company continues offloading peripheral assets to confront cheap crude prices and free up funds for its core exploration and production arm.
Eni sold the Galp stake to institutional investors at EUR9.81 a share, 2.6% below Thursday’s closing share price. Eni had previously announced that it would sell the stake, which was being held to cover a bond convertible, into Galp shares that expired earlier this month.
In its four-year plan presented in March, Eni committed to selling EUR8 billion in assets by the end of 2018. Like its competitors, Eni has struggled to adjust its strategy following the plunge in crude prices since the middle of last year and is the only major oil company to have cut its dividend in the wake of what analysts and executives expect to be a long period of depressed prices.
So far this year, including the Galp stake, Eni has sold EUR1.5 billion in assets. Chief Financial Officer Massimo Mondazzi said a month ago that the company wants to raise EUR3 billion in asset sales by the end of the year.
To reach its multi-year targets, Eni is also planning to sell stakes in some of its recent oil and gas finds. The first on that list is likely to be a portion of its 50% holding in a massive gas field off the coast of Mozambique.
Eni also has an 8% stake in Italian natural gas grid operator Snam Rete Gas. Eni has announced it will sell that stake, which has a market value of about EUR1.3 billion, once a bond convertible into those shares expires in January.
Since 2012, Eni raised EUR3.28 billion selling its entire one-third stake in Galp in a series of transactions.
Eni shares traded down 1.4% at EUR14.72 while Galp dropped 3.3% to EUR9.73.