Eni mulls green spin-off to relieve shareholders of low carbon burden
Oil investors don't want to fund low-risk, low-reward renewables projects
Nobody buys shares in oil companies in order to finance renewables. Oil investors want high-yielding investments that support above-market dividends, not low-risk, low-reward wind farms and solar arrays. This is partly why the oil majors allocate paltry sums to low carbon ventures, despite the evident need for them to diversify and decarbonise. How to resolve this conundrum? Italian oil major Eni thinks it has the answer: spin off its green arm into a separate listed company, and get different shareholders to shoulder the burden.
Eni needs to leverage huge capital sums to build out zero-carbon energy assets and wants to relieve existing shareholders of this burden. The company is looking at selling a minority stake in its new retail and renewable energy arm to a third party or via an initial public offering.
The idea that Big Oil cos might float their green ventures has been doing the rounds for a while but Eni’s decision to look into this marks…