Saipem, the public funds account: Cassa Depositi will have to pay at least 187 million to participate in the capital increase


There is no peace for Saipem. Neither for the pockets of taxpayers who could soon be called upon to participate, albeit indirectly, in a new rescue of the group led by Francesco Caio. How? ‘Or’ What? Street Cassa Depositi e Prestitiwhich is a shareholder of Saipem with a stake equal to 12.55% of the share capital. The financial arm of the state, headed by Dario Scannapiecoindeed risks having to get their hands on their wallet by paying around 187 million as part of a recapitalization of 1.5 billion. This would in fact be the amount that the Cdp will have to pay in the event of a capital increase in which the Cassa do not want to reduce their own investment in Saipem, a company specializing in the construction of infrastructure and services for the oil and renewable energy sector. Eni, instead, which owns just over 30% and is in turn 30% controlled by the Treasury, will have to put a chip in 450 million.

But the bill to the public coffers is much higher: the Cdp bought 12.5% ​​of Saipem in 2015 remove the chestnuts from the fire of Eni, which was struggling at the time due to the drop in the price of oil. He paid it 463 million, but today on the stock exchange it is worth a little less than 148 million. In other words, more than 300 million have already gone up in smoke since then. So, all things considered, if there is recapitalization, between the two rescue operations, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti will have found around 650 million, of which a little less than half have already disappeared. This was followed by a reorganization of the group with numerous Consob disputes over the accounts underlying Cdp’s entry into the company’s shareholding. A question that remains relevant suspended before the Council of State which Saipem appealed after the appeal was dismissed in the administrative court.

The situation returned slowly and laboriously back to normal. But then the pandemic, rising raw material and logistics costs, led to a deterioration in the economic margins of a series of projects. The result is that at the end of January Saipem was forced to announce the lack of a billion of consolidated revenue only in the second half of 2021 and a red greater than one third of the capital. “In this regard, Saipem has started preliminary contacts with these bank accounts in order to deal in advance with the potential effects on the loan contracts resulting from the occurrence of the event in question to art. 2446 of the civil code – explained a note from the company dated January 31, 2022. Saipem has also initiated preliminary contacts with the shareholders who exercise joint control over the Company, Eni Spa and Cdp Industria spa, in order to also verify their willingness to participate in a timely and adequate financial maneuver”. Results: in one month the stock sold around 40% on the stock market. Hence a series of working hypotheses to save the company. These include a substantially “compulsory” recapitalization within the meaning of the Civil Code, as well as a marriage with Mayor Tecnimont. Which, however, denied any involvement.

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