December 21, 2017 / 10:25 AM / 6 months ago

Planned ENI, ENAV sales looking unlikely: Treasury source

ROME (Reuters) - A plan to sell stakes this year in air traffic controller ENAV (ENAV.MI) and energy group ENI (ENI.MI) looks hard to achieve, meaning the Italian Treasury is investigating other ways of meeting debt-reduction goals, a Treasury source said on Thursday.

The government had hoped to sell stakes in both firms to state-controlled holding company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and was expecting to raise up to 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) from the operation to help cut Italy’s debt mountain.

However, European authorities have questioned whether such an operation should be allowed to count towards debt-reduction initiatives, putting the project on hold.

Italy had previously indicated it wanted to sell to CDP 50.37 percent of ENAV and most of its 4.34 percent holding in ENI.

One possible solution to the debt problem caused by the scuppering of the privatisations would be a debt buyback programme.

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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