The Board of Directors of Saipem S.p.A. has approved today the signing of an agreement with Eni for the sale of the Firenze FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) business line for €336 million. The agreement will see the sale to Eni of the Firenze FPSO unit, currently deployed in the Eni-operated Aquila field off the coast of Puglia, together with the on-board processing plant. The sale also includes existing related contracts, including those in place with production and vessel operations personnel. The contract signed with Eni in 2009 provided for the option to purchase the vessel Firenze FPSO alone subsequent to the conversion and commissioning of the vessel, which was completed at the end of last year.
The agreement is due to be signed on 13 December 2013 and is subject to the approval of Eni's Board of Directors, who will meet tomorrow, 12 December 2013. The agreement provides for the transfer of the Firenze FPSO business line to a newly-established company, Floaters S.p.A., and the subsequent sale of the entire share capital of Floaters to Eni. In view of the transfer, the business line has been subject to an expert evaluation, pursuant to article 2343 –ter paragraph 2, letter b) of the Italian Civil Code.
As part of the purchase agreement, Saipem has agreed to provide Floaters S.p.A. with ship management services for an interim period in order to facilitate the management of operations during the initial post-sale phase. Furthermore, Saipem will carry out completion activities on the vessel as provided for in the contract.
“I am pleased with this agreement which reduces our exposure to activities which I don’t consider core to the business and is in line with Saipem’s objective to optimise the financial structure" explained Umberto Vergine, Saipem's Chief Executive Officer.
Considering the size of the transaction and the fact that the counterparty is Eni, which exercises direction and coordination of Saipem, the transaction is considered of special importance with the related party in terms of the company's compliance with the Consob Regulation on related party transactions. The transaction was thus approved by the Board of Directors upon the favourable opinion of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Company, subject to Eni’s approval of the transaction and the signing of the relevant agreement, will prepare and lodge the information document regarding the transaction within the terms set out in article 5 of the Consob Regulation.