The Moratti family, renowned for its involvement in various industries including football, has agreed to sell a controlling stake in the Italian refiner Saras SpA to Vitol Group, one of the world’s largest commodities trading firms. This landmark deal, valued at approximately €1.7 billion ($1.9 billion), highlights Vitol’s strategic move to expand its footprint in the energy sector, particularly in Europe.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vitol will acquire about 35% of Saras at €1.75 per share. Additionally, Angelo Moratti, a nephew of Massimo Moratti, may also sell his remaining 5% stake, which is linked to a collar derivative contract. Following this initial transaction, Vitol intends to launch a takeover bid for the remaining shares of Saras. This move underscores Vitol’s confidence in the long-term prospects of the refining industry and its commitment to further investments in this sector.
The acquisition of Saras represents a significant milestone for Vitol, as it will give the company access to a refinery with a production capacity of 300,000 barrels per day. Situated on the island of Sardinia, the Sarroch refinery serves as a key player in the Mediterranean market and beyond. With this strategic investment, Vitol aims to strengthen its position as a leading player in the global energy market and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the refining and distribution segments.
Russel Hardy, CEO of Vitol, expressed his enthusiasm about the deal, emphasizing the complementary nature of Saras’s business with Vitol’s core operations. He highlighted the Sarroch refinery as a valuable European energy asset, poised to contribute to Vitol’s diversified portfolio. By leveraging Saras’s advanced refining capabilities and strategic location, Vitol aims to enhance its competitiveness and drive sustainable growth in the European energy market.
For the Moratti family, the decision to sell a controlling stake in Saras represents a strategic realignment of their investment portfolio. Massimo Moratti, the chairman and former owner of Inter Milan football club, acknowledged the importance of partnering with a global energy leader like Vitol to ensure the future success of the Sarroch refinery. With Vitol’s expertise and resources, Saras is well-positioned to navigate the evolving energy landscape and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the sector.
Founded in the 1960s by the Moratti family, Saras has emerged as a key player in the European refining industry, known for its advanced technology and operational excellence. The company’s Sarroch refinery is considered one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities in southern Europe, capable of processing a wide range of crude oils and producing high-quality fuels. With Vitol’s support, Saras aims to further enhance its operational efficiency and expand its market reach.
The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including the Italian government’s golden power procedure. Both parties involved in the deal are advised by leading financial and legal advisors to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Once finalized, the acquisition is expected to create synergies and unlock new growth opportunities for Vitol and Saras, further solidifying their positions as industry leaders in the global energy market.
The sale of a controlling stake in Saras SpA to Vitol Group represents a significant development in the energy sector, underscoring Vitol’s commitment to expanding its presence in Europe. With its advanced refining capabilities and strategic location, Saras is poised to play a pivotal role in Vitol’s growth strategy and contribute to the company’s long-term success in the global energy market.