Eni announced its intention to reduce its controlling interest in Saipem by selling 12.5% of its 43% stake in late October 2015. The Italian operator said it wanted to relieve its debt burden and allow it to increase its focus on its upstream core business by shaking loose additional funds that it intended to reinvest in recent discoveries.
In the original announcement, Eni said it expected to collect around €6.5 billion ($7 billion) upon the close of the transaction.
Days before 2015 drew to a close, Saipem announced that it agreed to transfer the Vibo Valentia and Rome project execution centers to Tecnomare, which is wholly-owned by Eni, in a transaction effective Dec. 31, 2015. The two centers work mainly for Eni on engineering, project management, construction supervision, and related support services in the upstream, refining and chemical sectors in Italy and abroad.