July 27, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 21 days ago

Enel ready to discuss sale of stake in EF Solare to F2i - source

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest utility Enel (ENEI.MI) is ready to discuss the sale of its stake in solar joint venture EF Solare to partner F2i, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The new Enel logo is seen inside Italy's biggest utility Enel's flagship store in downtown Milan, Italy, May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini - RC1B66689110

Enel and F2i currently own 50 percent each of EF Solare, Italy’s biggest solar power operator which could be worth more than 1.5 billion euros (1.33 billion pounds).

In a statement on Thursday F2i said it had expressed its intention to acquire Enel’s stake.

“Enel is ready to talk about a sale under the right conditions,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Enel declined to comment.

In a report on Friday broker Mediobanca said it estimated EF Solare could be worth around 1.58 billion euros ($1.8 billion) including debt, and suggested Enel could receive 290 million euros cash.

Infrastructure fund F2i, partly owned by state lender CDP, agreed on Thursday to buy Terra Firma’s solar farms in Italy for 1.3 billion euros in a move that will make it Europe’s third largest solar player.

F2i and Enel had originally placed a joint bid for the Terra Firma portfolio but Enel pulled out.

A source familiar with the matter said Enel, one of the world’s largest renewable energy players, was interested in investing in green projects that could offer higher returns than the Terra Firma portfolio.

EF Solare, set up by the two companies some two years ago, has around 395 megawatts of installed capacity in Italy spread across 123 plants.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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