ENBW BUYS ENI
German utility EnBW said on Friday it would buy the 50 percent stake owned by Italy's Eni in a jointly-held gas grid company, taking full ownership of an asset that is expected to generate stable returns over the coming years.
EnBW said both parties had agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
Sources familiar with the process told Reuters late on Thursday that a deal had been agreed, putting the value of the stake at more than 150 million euros ($205 million).
"EnBW executes on its gas strategy through expanding its position in the gas supply and transmission business significantly and is also aiming for further growth," Frank Mastiaux, EnBW's chief executive, said in a statement.
Infrastructure investors and utilities are looking to buy into safer assets that yield guaranteed returns, such as power and gas grids, amid turbulent stock markets and low interest rates.
EnBW will buy the 50 percent it does not already own in EnBW Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, established in 2002, which comprises gas grid Terranets BW GmbH as well as gas supplier Gasversorgung Sueddeutschland (GVS).
Together, Terranets - which operates a 2,000 km gas pipeline system in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg - and GVS made sales of 1.7 billion euros last year and employ 278 staff.
Eni said in October it was in talks with EnBW over the future of EnBW/Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft, amid speculation the oil and gas group could sell its stake.
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