Vitol Buys Controlling Stake in Saras from Billionaires Moratti | Mint
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Business News/ News / Vitol Buys Controlling Stake in Saras from Billionaires Moratti
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Vitol Buys Controlling Stake in Saras from Billionaires Moratti

The family of Italian billionaire Massimo Moratti agreed to sell a controlling stake in refiner Saras SpA to the commodities trading giant Vitol Group, in a deal which valued the company at about €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion).

Vitol Buys Controlling Stake in Saras from Billionaires MorattiPremium
Vitol Buys Controlling Stake in Saras from Billionaires Moratti

(Bloomberg) -- The family of Italian billionaire Massimo Moratti agreed to sell a controlling stake in refiner Saras SpA to the commodities trading giant Vitol Group, in a deal which valued the company at about €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion).

The family reached a deal to sell about 35% of Saras at €1.75/share, according to a statement from the Moratti family. Angelo Moratti, one of Massimo Moratti’s nephews, may also sell his remaining 5% which is linked to a collar derivate contract.  

The commodity trading giant will then launch a takeover bid for the remaining Saras shares. Bloomberg News first reported Vitol’s talks with Moratti Feb. 7.

The Moratti family has a 40% holding in Saras, giving them control of the firm. Massimo Moratti, the chairman and chief executive and a former owner of Inter Milan football club, holds 20%. His nephews Gabriele Moratti and Angelo Moratti each own 10% via holding companies.

“62 years after my father founded it, together with my nephews, I believe that the best assurance for the future success of the Sarroch refinery is the aggregation with a leading player in the global energy sector, such as Vitol," Massimo Moratti said in the statement.

Founded in the 1960s by the family, Saras runs the 300,000 barrels-a-day Sarroch refinery on the island of Sardinia. Commodities trader Trafigura Group has about 9.6% of the refiner after selling about 4% last month. 

The refinery is considered relatively advanced, meaning it is able to tweak the crudes it processes and the fuels it makes. It is the largest single-site plant in southern Europe although Italy’s ISAB facility, which is split into northern and southern sections, is bigger when combined.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals including the Italian government’s golden power, the statement said.

“This transaction presents an opportunity for Vitol to invest in a high-quality asset, well placed to serve both Italy’s and Europe’s current and future energy needs," the company said in the statement.

The Moratti family is advised by BofA Securities and Four Partners Advisory as financial advisers and Linklaters as legal adviser. Vitol is advised by J.P. Morgan as sole financial advisor and by Chiomenti and Weil, Gotshal & Manges as legal adviser.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 01:08 AM IST
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