Eni, one of the global ‘super-players’ in the oil and gas sector, announced on September 26 that it has emerged victorious from the bidding process ordered by the Court of Alessandria for Mossi & Ghisolfi's Group’s ”green” activities.
Its chemicals unit Versalis had therefore now acquired the series of green businesses in Italy formerly belonging to Italian plastics multinational.
“This know-how reinforces Versalis’ competitive position in the bio-based chemical industry, creating synergies with ongoing research projects,” Eni said in a statement. The acquisition will allow the development of an integrated technological platform of chemicals from biomass, in line with the strategy undertaken in recent years, it added.
The transfer of the business units will be formally agreed in the coming weeks, in compliance with legal procedures and deadlines.
The operation includes assets and resources related to development activities, industrialisation, licensing of technologies and bio-chemical processes based on the use of renewable resources, especially biomass, of the four companies Biochemtex, Beta Renewables, Ipb (Italian Bio Products) and Ipb energia. No financial details were given but a source familiar with the matter said the deal had cost Versalis more than 90 million euros ($105.8 million), including debt, according to Reuters.
The innovative aspect of these processes is the Proesa technology, which is used to convert biomass into second generation sugars and the subsequent production of biofuels or, potentially, other biochemical intermediates. The industrial plant at Crescentino (Vercelli) produces bio-ethanol, as well as green electricity thanks to the enhancement of lignin, which is a by-product.
Mossi Ghisolfi, founded by the Ghisolfi family in 1953, is a major PET producer. In Italy, it owns a series of licensing technologies and biochemical processes based on renewable resources, especially biomass.
After the death of former managing director Guido Ghisolfi and cost overruns in the U.S., the group was forced to file for creditor protection for its Italian units.
Italian investment house Mediobanca advised Mossi Ghisolfi on the sale.