By Stephen Jewkes and Pamela Barbaglia
MILAN (Reuters) -Italian energy group Edison, owned by France’s EDF, is gearing up to sell a stake of up to 40% in its renewable energy generation arm as it seeks to capitalise on investor appetite for green assets, four sources familiar with the matter said.
The company is working with Lazard and Societe Generale to attract deep-pocketed private equity firms to an auction process which is expected to kick off in the coming weeks, the sources said on Monday on condition of anonymity.
The deal is expected to value Edison’s entire renewable energy generation business at more than 1 billion euros ($1.22 billion), the sources said.
The stake sale will allow Edison to fully support its green energy operations as owner EDF has made no financial commitment to expand its Italian unit because of investment priorities elsewhere across its sprawling business, the sources said.
Edison, Lazard and Societe Generale declined to comment.
Edison is fully focused on renewable power and energy efficiency after selling almost all its upstream exploration and production assets.
In February it took full control of E2i Energie Speciali which has 706 megawatts of wind capacity across 38 plants in Italy.
The E2i deal transformed Edison into Italy’s second-biggest wind operator with an overall wind and solar capacity of more than one gigawatt.
Italian state-owned energy group Eni is also reviewing strategic options to list or sell a minority stake in a new retail and renewable energy business as part of its energy transition plans. The division, with 10 million customers and plans to grow green power generation to over 5 gigawatts by 2025, could be worth 9 billion euros including debt, according to Jefferies analysts.
($1 = 0.8230 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Richard Chang)