MILAN May 5 Total and energy group
Erg have received four bids for the Italian petrol
station network they jointly own, three sources close to the
The bidders, which include Italian refiner API Anonima
Petroli, have asked for additional information, two
of the sources said, adding that details on how the sale will be
structured would likely be announced by the end of May.
Bidding closed at the end of April.
France's Total and Italy's Erg jointly control TotalErg
which operates close to 2,600 service stations in Italy with a
market share of around 11 percent.
But the joint venture also holds other assets including a
quarter of Italian refinery Sarpom, controlled by ExxonMobil's
Esso unit, which is proving a stumbling block.
"The sale has not been wrapped up yet because the bidders
have asked more questions," one of the sources said, adding it
was not clear if the assets would be sold as a single block or
would be broken up.
TotalErg, 51 percent owned by Erg, has appointed HSBC and
Rothschild to sell a business which sources have said could be
worth more than 600 million euros ($657 million).
A person close to the deal said that in addition to API the
bidders included a foreign industrial player and private equity
Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported this week
that Terra Firma, TRC Capital, and Glencore had made bids.
Another source said API, which already owns 2,600 stations
of its own, was in talks with private equity group Advent to
back its bid but added clinching a deal had been tough.
"It's not clear if Advent is still on board," the source
A deal with API would create Italy's biggest service station
operator, ahead of Eni and Kuwait Petroleum
International which last year bought a network from Royal Dutch
API, Erg and Advent declined to comment.
($1 = 0.9127 euros)
(Editing by Jason Neely)