MILAN, March 25 (Class Editori) -- The growth plans of SNAM could lead it to the Middle East. The gas infrastructure group, as reported by Bloomberg, would be among the operators who are willing to acquire a shareholding in the gas pipelines of the Abu Dhabi National Oil (ADNOC). The operation is still at an early stage, far away from the phase of the binding offers but, according to the first data, 100 percent of the assets could be worth about 15 billion U.S. dollars; 49 percent is on sale and therefore it could be worth approximately 8 billion. (the debt-equity ratio still needs to be clarified)
It is an important amount and for this reason it would be possible to suppose a jointed offer by the players who are evaluating the dossier. The consortium solution might be the most appropriate for the Group led by the CEO Marco Alverà because it would allow to keep a strong financial structure by remaining in line with the risk/return profile of the investment, one of the aspects which have always been carefully watched by SNAM.
The other players interested in ADNOC gas pipelines are the Korean fund NH, the manager of the Australian fund IFM Investors PTY, the pension fund of the teachers in Ontario, Global Infrastructure Partners and the Singapore fund Gic. Blackrock has withdrawn, due to the market turmoil related to the COVID-19 spread. However, it is not excluded that the pandemic might also induce Abu Dhabi to delay the phases of selling and due diligence processes. Meanwhile, yesterday, IMI Bank's analysts underlined the opportunity of a possible deal for SNAM because "it would allow to buy an asset whose earnings will be guaranteed for decades".
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