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Deals SACE - 20 September 2023

New energy supplies for Italy thanks to SACE’s Push Strategy

Vitol, one of the world’s leading energy trading groups, has entered into a 550 million euro facility arranged by SMBC Group, with CACIB, Santander, Société Générale, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, acting as lenders, and guaranteed by SACE, Italy’s Export Credit Agency.

Controlled directly by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, SACE is specialized in supporting businesses and the national economic system through a wide range of tools and solutions to support competitiveness in Italy and worldwide. This deal, the latest SACE's Strategic Import transaction concluded under its Push Strategy program, with the aim of implementing Italy’s energy security, a crucial goal in the light of the current global complex economic situation.

SACE's support, strategic for the Italian economy, has the objective of ensuring the current and future stability of gas supplies to Italy and will also enable Vitol to expand its activities in the country. Under the five-year agreement, Vitol will increase its supplies of natural gas and LNG to Italy, supporting Italy’s national industrial needs and contributing to the growth of Italian exports worldwide.

Founded in 1966, Vitol is a world leader in energy supply, with offices in more than 40 countries and a range of operations from storage and processing to transport and delivery of energy products including natural gas, LNG, power, petrochemicals, crude oil, refined products, and biofuels. Some of these products are strategic for the Italian economy and have significant supply risks in light of the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

"We are very proud of this operation which, as part of SACE's Push Strategy, gives Italian companies access to raw materials that are fundamental for the continuity of their activities in Italy and abroad", said Michal Ron, Chief International Business Officer of SACE. "Support for strategic imports has become an important new response from SACE, in the light of the complex international scenario, that aims to ensure greater stability to the national economic fabric, boosting the competitiveness of Italian companies in foreign markets and consolidating growth in domestic ones".

An SMBC Group representative commented, “SMBC Group is proud to have acted as sole arranger on the first SACE Strategic Import transaction aimed at ensuring the regular supply of gas for the Italian market.  The funding plays an important contribution to Italy’s wider medium-term energy security and is the first SACE supported financing arranged on behalf of Vitol”.

Clifford Chance, as Legal Counsel for SMBC Group and SACE, contributed to finalizing the transaction.

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