EDF Unit Is Said to Draw Neptune, Warburg for Oil and Gas Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA’s Italian unit has attracted potential bidders including Neptune Energy and Warburg Pincus’s Apex International Energy for its oil and gas business, people familiar with the matter said.

Bidders for Edison SpA’s exploration and production assets, primarily located in Egypt and Italy, may offer as much as $2 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the auction is private. Other competitors including L1 Energy’s DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG could also look at the business, though the firms may still choose not to make offers ahead of a deadline this month, they said.

EDF is backing away from the volatile oil and gas assets as it looks for ways to fund nuclear and renewable projects. Still, as the price of oil fluctuates, so does the amount the company can get for its assets. Brent crude oil has gone as high as $86.29 and as low as $50.57 a barrel in the last 12 months, declining about 13 percent in the period overall, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives for EDF, Neptune, Warburg Pincus and Mikhail Fridman’s L1 Energy declined to comment.

Edison has been making acquisitions to expand its retail business and in February added Gas Natural Vendita Italia, a natural gas utility in Southern Italy, for 195.3 million euros ($223.6 million).

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.