Government initiates sale of minority stake

Here comes privatization of the post office announced some time ago by the government, which intends to capitalize on its shares in some listed companies, with the aim of raising around 20 billion euros to be used for debt reduction and for the financing of other key measures such as tax reform and pensions.

What did the Council of Ministers decide?

The Yesterday’s Council of Ministers, among the items on the agenda, it examined the one relating to the “definition of the criteria for the sale of a share of the shareholding held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Poste Italiane”, approving “in preliminary examination, a provision that regulates the sale of a share of the shareholding held by the MEF in the capital of Poste Italiane”.

This share – explains Palazzo Chigi – will be “such as to maintain a participation of the State, even indirect, which ensure public control“.

“The methods of alienation – he assures himself – will also tend to favor protection of widespread shareholding and the stability of the ownership structure“.

What share?

The MEF currently holds a 29.6% share of Poste Italiane and another 35% is held by the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. A “firm” majority of around 75% which could be reduced while still maintaining control of the company that manages the universal postal service.

According to the hypotheses that have been circulating recently, the Treasury would be willing to place a 13% share on the marketwhile still maintaining a solid majority.

The government starts the divestment plan

The Government has thus materially started a broader divestment plan, which after the placement on the market of a 25% share of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, privatized in the midst of the financial crisis after the scandals that hit the historic Sienese bank .

Of the Plan for the sale of public shareholdingsand held in listed companies, Minister Giorgetti and also, more recently, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had spoken about it, announcing that she wanted to cash in from the sale of the state “jewels” surroundingto 20 billion euros in three years, equal to 1% of GDP.

After Poste, the Government could decide to sell other holdings, for example a 4% in Eni, which would be worth 2 billion euros. The operation, however, will have to wait a little longer, because the six-legged dog company is currently completing a share buyback plan (by April), which would be subject to the divestment of the share held by the MEF.

Then it will be the turn of state Railwaysa company still in public hands, for which even a stock market listing is not ruled out, and of another tranche of MPS’s 39% package still in public hands.