(Bloomberg) -- Italy sold a stake of about €1.4 billion ($1.52 billion) in oil major Eni SpA in a bid to reduce its mammoth debt.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration closed the placement of about 2.8% of shares in the state-controlled energy company through an accelerated book building process on Wednesday, according to terms of the offer obtained by Bloomberg and a government statement.

Rome is working through a plan to sell off around €20 billion in company stakes by 2026, include holdings in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA and Poste Italiane SpA. The proceeds will be used to cut debt, which hovered at around 137% of the country’s output at the end of last year.

The Italian Treasury will retain about 2% of Eni after the sale with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA holding about 28%. 

Italy offered about 92 million shares at €14.855 each, at a 1.7% discount on Eni’s closing price May 15. UBS, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies acted as joint global coordinators.

The energy company, which has a market value of about €49 billion, has expanded its reach in natural gas production and renewables in recent years. 

Eni is reorganizing through a strategic plan to split off its biochemical business Novamont and create a unit for carbon capture activities. It also plans to sell a stake or list its Enilive refining and fuel unit.

--With assistance from Greg Chang and Antonio Vanuzzo.

(Update with sale completion in second paragraph.)

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