Saipem shares fall below cash call issue price as banks prepare for stake sale

MILAN (Reuters) – Shares in Italy’s Saipem on Friday dropped below the issue price for new stock in a cash call that fell short of the 2 billion euro ($2.01 billion) target the energy services firm was seeking from investors.

Saipem sold its new shares at 1.013 euros each, at a ratio of 95 new shares for every one ordinary or savings share held. By 0830 GMT Milan-listed shares were down 25% at 0.874 euros.

The company said on Friday that underwriting banks had completed the purchase of new shares, worth almost 600 million euros, that were left unsold, after Saipem raised just 70.4% of the targeted amount in the capital increase.

BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit were the joint global coordinators of the Saipem issue. ABN AMRO, Banca Akros, Banco BPM, Banco Santander, Barclays, BPER, Goldman Sachs International, Societe Generale and Stifel were listed as the joint bookrunners.

Banks are now expected to start selling Saipem shares. But with such a big stake in their hands and a falling market price, the process might not prove easy.

On Friday Unicredit said that it, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UniCredit, ABN AMRO, Barclays and Stifel, now owning almost 400 million Saipem shares, had entered an agreement to achieve an “orderly” sale of the stake.

The stake corresponds to 67.8% of shares bought by banks and around 19% of the targeted amount in the call.

($1 = 0.9975 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Keith Weir)

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