MET Italia focuses on gas consolidation
To become the leader in the consolidation of the market of natural gas and electricity sales in Italy through organic growth and acquisitions, and thus enter the top 10 of the sector at country level. This is the goal of MET Italy, founded in 2017 and controlled by the European energy giant MET, which has recently undergone a significant realignment at a control chain level as a result of a management buyout operation, bringing the Group’s current CEO, Benjamin Lakatos, and – to a lesser extent – some other managers to hold 100% of its capital.
To date, MET Italia’s operation has been mainly based on the sale of natural gas to large industrial customers (with an estimated portfolio of 100 mn cubic metres as of 2018), but the short-term target to reach is the SME market, without ignoring potential opportunities in the residential sector. The available budget? Some hundreds of millions of euros, considering that the Group, at European level, has allocated about 1 bn for development and M&A and, as reported by Radiocor, MET considers Italy as one of the most strategic areas to drive growth. Moreover, few know that MET had submitted a binding offer for the 500,000 clients of Gas Natural Italia, taken over by Edison in the past few months.
“The energy market is for few: a certain type of operational and financial capabilities is needed,” underlined the CEO of MET Energia Italia Giuseppe Rebuzzini. “For this reason, we have entered Italy, as we believe that we will face an important consolidation from 200-300 operators present today, and we are ready to grow by following two development guidelines.” The first concerns “organic growth in terms of customers and volumes: we aim at 1 bn cubic metres of gas, as well as 10 thousand large corporate customers, to whom we also want to sell electricity, and SMEs by 2020”. Also because – the manager continued – it is exactly the small and medium-sized enterprises that make up a "potentially vast market with a high profit margin which constitutes the backbone of the Italian productive system and therefore an obligatory measure for those who want to make a decisive leap”.
The second directive of growth concerns M&A, which has two possible targets: “medium or small gas traders which are unable to keep up with the competition and the approaching market liberalisation, and more important companies with residential clients, for example some unlisted municipal entities that have portfolios of 50 to 100 thousand customers,” explained Rebuzzini.
Source: Il Sole 24 Ore