It is again ferment on the stock market for some extraordinary operations, which could involve state subsidiaries and banks. Piazza Affari greeted them with important increases from the companies involved, at the beginning of a year that seems decisive for various operations, from TIM’s single network to the sale of a minority share of the company.Eniwithout forgetting the banksonce again at the center of completely unexpected consolidation operations.
Government ready to cash in on Eni
The government has long announced privatizations for around 20 billion of euros, equal to 1% of GDP, by 2026, to reduce public debt, also in view of the implementation of the new and stringent Stability Pact in 2025. Privatizations which, according to the Bloomberg agency, could concern a participation up to 4% of Eni.
In fact, even the owner of the economy spoke about privatizations in Davos Giancarlo Giorgettistating “the operations we have launched, from Monte dei Paschi to even very complex operations such as Tim’s Netco, have recorded great satisfaction”, as well as “a lot of interest” was addressed by international funds to privatizations. “These are the first steps of a plan that we confirm is very ambitious,” reiterated the Minister.
The oil company, owned by the State with a 4.7% stake together with CDP which holds 27.7%, is now committed to completing the buyback plan, from which it should collect around 2.2 billion euros, largely useful for reducing its debt, but it could also shorten its maturity. The share buyback operation would increase the government’s stake, which would therefore still maintain control of the company.
Banking risk returns
After the divestment of 25% of Montepaschi carried out by the MEF last November, also the banking sector is in great turmoil and, now that the idea of a marriage with Unicredit has passed, new horizons are now opening up.
The market now seems to be seeing a Unicredit’s approach to Popolare di Sondrio, however denied by number one Andrea Orcel from Davos. According to press rumors, one American investment bank he would be buying shares of Banca Popolare con the goal of reaching 10% and favor the possible rise of a large Italian bank, Unicredit. But in an interview with Bloomberg TV, in Davos, the CEO of the Piazza Group Gae Aulenti, Andrea Orcel he responded with a clear “no” to the question whether the bank is buying Sondrio sharesof which Unipol is the main shareholder.
In the interview, Orcel underlines that Unicredit is constantly looking for M&A options in the 13 markets in which it operates and has identified those that may be strategic, “but the valuations are misaligned”. “There are many intermediaries and many trying to create transactions, but the numbers don’t fit,” says the manager adding that the bank is “interested in everything at the right price”.