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Eni to sell stakes in biofuel, bioplastic units by end of 2024

(Reuters) - Italian energy group Eni aims to sell by year-end minority stakes in its biofuel and bio-plastic units that could fetch around $1.47 B in total to speed up its energy transition, three sources said.

The $53.11-B group has initiated preliminary discussions with funds and industrial investors to find a partner interested in a stake of up to 10% in biofuel unit Enilive, industrial and financial sources said.

They said the unit could be valued at 10 billion euros or more, including debt.

Separately, Eni is in talks with two suitors to sell up to 30% in its bio-plastic business Novamont, which could value it at around 1 billion euros including debt, the sources said.

These efforts are part of the Italian group's broader strategy to set up separate entities - called "satellite" companies - that can tap specialized investors, helping Eni to fund greener businesses without sapping resources for oil and gas activities.

Eni could consider to list Enilive in a second step, two of the sources said, either through an initial public offering or a spin-off depending on market conditions and the needs of the group.

Enilive groups together multi-fuel service stations and biorefineries in Italy and abroad. In its 2024-2027 plan Eni forecasts the unit's core earnings rising to 1.2 billion euros in 2025 from 1 billion euros expected this year.

Piedmont-based Novamont, which Eni owns through its chemical unit Versalis, is the world's leader in the production of bioplastics.

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