ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s government will seek commitments from Vitol on jobs, investment and supply continuity while investigating the global commodities trader’s plan to take over oil refiner Saras, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Saras’ controlling shareholder the Moratti family said on Sunday it had agreed to sell its stake to Vitol in a deal valuing the oil refiner at 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
Rome will review transactions under “Golden Power” rules for industries deemed of strategic importance, such as banking, energy, telecommunications and health.
One of the sources said the government was leaning towards seeking commitments similar to what it agreed last year with Cypriot private equity firm GOI Energy to support the takeover of the former Lukoil refinery in Sicily.
The government investigation will begin as soon as the parties have notified the terms of the transaction.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office and Vitol were not immediately available for comment.
Under the deal, the entire Moratti family-owned stake in Storks will be transferred to Vitol, triggering a mandatory tender offer for any outstanding shares.
Moratis said on Sunday that the purpose of this buyout is to delist the company.
Saroche’s most important asset is the Saroche plant in Sardinia, the largest plant in the Mediterranean with a refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.
In most cases Italy’s use of the Gold Powers resulted in deals being approved with binding conditions to protect national interests.
Meloni’s government last November blocked French group Safran’s planned $1.8 billion purchase of Collins Aerospace’s flight control systems arm because it could threaten supplies to the national armed forces.
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(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by…