Endesa in talks to sell Spanish grid to Goldman Sachs

(Reuters) – Endesa SA, the Spanish subsidiary of Italy’s Enel SpA, is in exclusive talks with a Goldman Sachs infrastructure fund to sell its Spanish gas grid, sources close to the deal said.

Endesa could receive close to 800 million euros ($1.07 billion) for the network, two sources said, confirming an earlier report in Spanish newspaper Expansion on Friday. A deal could be announced by early next week, two other sources said.

Spokespeople for Endesa and Enel said negotiations were ongoing. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment.

Funds sponsored by Macquarie and AXA Private Equity also submitted final offers for the grid on Sept. 13, in which Endesa is looking to sell an 80 percent stake, people familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

Driven by the debt-cutting drive of highly geared Enel, Endesa has been selling assets in order to help the Italian power group cut its net debt to 45 billion euros by the end of 2010 from 51 billion euros at the end of 2009.

At 1028 GMT, Endesa shares rose 0.05 pct to 19.83 euros, compared to a 0.31 percent drop on the blue chip IBEX .IBEX. ($1=.7494 Euro) (By Clara Vilar and Greg Roumeliotis. Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)