Endessa Launches Sale of Spanish Gas Network

AMSTERDAM/MADRID (Reuters) – Endesa (ELE.MC) has launched the sale of its Spanish gas distribution and transmission network, a disposal that could fetch up to 760 million euros, several people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Spanish utility, in which Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI) has a 92 percent stake, sent out teasers to interested parties this week and plans to send more details to potential bidders in the next two weeks, sources said.

Endesa’s Spanish gas assets have some 397,000 connection points and made 2009 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 58.4 million euros, two people familiar with the matter said.

Industry sources suggested Endesa could get between 10 to 13 times EBITDA for the assets, implying a valuation of between 584 and 760 million euros. Endesa is hoping to complete the process this summer, sources said.

Macquarie (MQG.AX), CVC Capital Partners and Prudential’s (PRU.L) M&G Investments are among the financial investors considering a bid, sources close to them said.

AXA (AXAF.PA) Private Equity told Reuters in March it was preparing a bid together with Italian investment fund F2i.

Endesa declined to comment. Macquarie declined to comment, CVC did not respond to a request for comment, while a spokesman for M&G confirmed its interest in the asset. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by David Cowell)