Snam Explores Acquisition of Edison's Gas Storage, Eyes Bigger Stake in Adriatic LNG

(Reuters) — Snam plans to file an offer to buy Edison's gas storage business and is also considering increasing its stake in Adriatic LNG, Italy's biggest LNG terminal, the group's CEO said on Thursday.

"We expect to submit a non-binding offer for Edison's gas storage by the beginning of December," Snam's Stefano Venier said during a post-results conference call.

The gas grid operator manages most of Italy's gas storage sites and has said it wants to expand its capacity.

Edison said in May it believed the business was worth more than 500 million euros ($534.40 million).

Snam is also interested acquiring LNG infrastructure, following an increase in demand for LNG after the Ukraine war led to a reduction in Russian gas supplies.

U.S. fund BlackRock is negotiating with Exxon and QatarEnergy to buy a stake in Adriatic LNG, about 9 miles (15 km) off Italy's northeastern Veneto coastline.

Snam, which owns 7.3% of the terminal, has the right of first refusal and could decide to increase its stake to around 30%, sources have told Reuters, adding the assets could be worth around 800 million euros.

"When the final terms and conditions agreed by the three parties will be notified to us, we will evaluate whether or not to increase our stake," Venier said.

Venier also said the group was in talks with emissions-intensive companies in Austria, Germany and Italy on the provision of green hydrogen and carbon capture services to help them decarbonize their businesses.

Earlier on Thursday, Snam said its nine-month adjusted core earnings rose by 9% to 1.86 billion euros, driven by growth at its regulated gas transportation business and its energy transition division.

($1 = 0.9356 euros)

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