Energean bids for EDF oil and gas assets

By Dinesh Nair and Yaacov Benmeleh on 6/14/2019

LONDON and TEL AVIV (Bloomberg) -- Energean Oil & Gas Plc, the Greek energy producer that sold shares in London last year, is bidding for the oil and gas business of Electricite de France SA’s Italian unit, people familiar with the matter said.

Energean has submitted a final offer for Edison SpA’s exploration and production assets, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Some other suitors have dropped out of the process, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The business had earlier attracted initial interest from potential bidders including Neptune Energy and Warburg Pincus’s Apex International Energy, Bloomberg News reported in January. Other competitors including Wintershall Dea GmbH, an arm of Mikhail Fridman’s L1 Energy, could also look at the business, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

A deal would be Energean’s first major acquisition since its listing and would help it expand in countries including Italy and Egypt. EDF was seeking as much as $2 billion for the assets, people with knowledge of the matter said in January.

EDF is selling the business as it seeks funds to finance its nuclear and renewable energy projects. Edison has been making acquisitions to expand its retail business, spending 195 million euros ($220 million) last year to acquire Gas Natural Vendita Italia, a natural gas utility in southern Italy.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the discussions will lead to an agreement, the people said. Representatives for EDF, Energean and Neptune declined to comment. Representatives for L1 and Warburg Pincus didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Energean raised 330 million pounds ($418 million) from its London IPO in March last year. Its shares have risen 31% this year through Wednesday, giving it a market value of about 1.3 billion pounds.

EDF has said it plans to sell as much as 3 billion euros of assets by the end of next year to keep a lid on its borrowings. Last month, the French utility completed the sale of a 25% stake in Swiss power producer Alpiq for about 489 Swiss francs ($493 million).

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