Infra investors in Italian grid privatization

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Infra investors in Italian grid privatization

According to Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, four infrastructure investors are studying buying 49% in CDP Reti, the energy infrastructure company currently 100%-controlled by Italy's state investment company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

According to information published on Sunday,  which quoted unknown sources, Kuwait's Wren House Infrastructure Management, the infrastructure investment vehicle of the Kuwait Investment Authority; Australia's IFM Investors; Canada's Borealis Infrastructure, an investment holding group of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS); and the State Grid Corporation of China are studying possible offers to submit by the January 31, 2014 deadline.

The planned sale of a minority stake in CDP Reti, part of the privatisation plan of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, is expected to be completed in February. Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) expects to cash in around €3 billion ($4.1 billion) by June 2014 from the sale of minority stakes in gas and power grid networks.

CDP Reti also owns 30 % of gas grid company Snam and will soon receive from its parent also a 29.85 % stake in power grid group Terna.

Italy has a long history of using privatizations to cut its national debt; in the 1990s, it executed one of the largest privatization programs in the world, including the initial public offering of Eni.

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