Rome - Orrick has represented Snam, Europe's largest regulated gas company, as legal and tax advisor in securing a €9 billion (US$10.88 billion) line of credit from 11 major international and domestic banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale and UBS. The line of credit will enable Snam to meet its capital requirements, including the repayment of current debt to Eni, one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world. The closing took place on July 24, 2012.
"This is one of the largest and most closely watched deals of the year in Italy," said Patrizio Messina, Managing Partner of Orrick's Italian offices. "This agreement is a great development for Snam. It will enable Snam to pursue significant infrastructure investments with the aim of promoting Italy's role as a European gas hub."
On May 25, the Italian government and its Prime Minister Mario Monti, decreed that Eni had 18 months to sell down its stake in Snam. The Prime Minister's decree and this financing highlight the opening of the Italian energy market, and experts predict increased competition.
The Orrick team was led by Patrizio Messina and included Rome and Milan structured finance associate Dorothy de Rubeis, Milan tax partner Alessandro Mainardi, London energy and infrastructure partner Alex Janes, London tax partner Nick Thornton, Rome structured finance attorney trainees Sabrina Setini and Beatrice Maffeis, Milan tax associate Giovanni Leoni and London energy and infrastructure managing associate Kofi Bempah.