(Bloomberg) -- Eni SpA is debating whether to proceed with a listing of its multibillion-dollar renewable arm or delay the deal’s launch amid the market turbulence, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Italian oil giant is set to decide in the next few days whether it will go ahead with the Milan initial public offering of its Plenitude unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Under the normal European listing timeline, it would have set a price range on Thursday.
Eni is now discussing with its advisers whether to accept a cheaper valuation or wait for a better environment later in the year, according to the people. Talks with potential investors in recent days revealed continued disagreements over pricing, the people said.
State-controlled Eni was already thinking about tempering the valuation for Plenitude to around 7 billion euros ($7.4 billion), from an earlier target of 10 billion euros, Bloomberg News reported last week. In recent days, some fund managers have indicated they would only invest at a valuation below 7 billion euros, the people said.
Holding off could allow Eni to achieve its desired valuation when markets improve in a few months. The decision could also backfire if investor sentiment continues to worsen.
Deliberations are ongoing, and Eni hasn’t made any final decisions, the people said. A representative for Eni declined to comment.
Issuers have been forced to revisit expectations as market turmoil fueled by inflation, hawkish central banks and growing recession fears weighs on investor appetite. Industrie De Nora SpA, a green-hydrogen specialist that started taking orders for its IPO this week, also lowered its valuation from initial expectations to draw in investors, Bloomberg News has reported.
Both De Nora and Plenitude are targeting investors in green energy. The war in Ukraine has shaken up global fossil-fuel markets, prompting governments to push for more independence from Russian oil and gas supplies. Ambitious climate targets in Europe have also put renewable assets in the spotlight, with energy majors looking to maximize returns from such businesses.
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