Italy’s IP to Buy Exxon’s Refining and Fuel Assets in Italy

Reuters, December 20, 2022

Italy's leading private fuel and mobility group IP said on Tuesday it signed a deal to buy fuel and refining assets owned by Exxon Mobil's subsidiary Esso Italiana.

Before the pandemic, Exxon pledged to sell dozens of properties in Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe to raise $15 billion aimed at reducing its debt.

Last year the top U.S. oil producer tried to accelerate its divesture plans, leveraging increased interest in its properties on the back of rising oil and gas prices.

Under Tuesday's deal, IP will acquire the 75% of a refinery based in Trecate, near Milan, it does not already own and 12.5% of Disma company, which manages the Milan Malpensa airport aviation fuel depot.

Family-owned IP will also buy the whole of Esso Italiana fuel sales activities in Italy, the Genoa, Arluno, and Chivasso depots and the Engycalor Energia Calore company, which controls the Naples bitumen depot and handles sales to business customers.

IP did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.

The deal will boost IP's production volumes, the Italian company said, adding its refining capacity would double to nearly 10 million tonnes per year thanks to the complete control of the Trecate refinery.

Italy's economy minister Giancarlo Giorgetti welcomed the announcement of the agreement, which is expected to be finalised in the next six months.

"It marks the strengthening of an Italian player in a strongly evolving market and at a complex time. The government is closely monitoring the entire sector also in Europe," Giorgetti said in a tweet on his official account.

The transaction does not include the 2,200 Esso branded service stations, which had already been sold to third parties maintaining a supply relationship through 'branded wholesaler' agreements, which will be transferred to IP.

Investment banking boutique CC & Soci was IP's financial advisor. Legal M&A assistance was handled by Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici legal firm while legal due diligence, tax and antitrust assistance were respectively handled by Carabba & Partners and BonelliErede.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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