(Alliance News) - Saras Spa announced Tuesday that Varas Spa, a vehicle of Vitol BV, has completed the purchase of the Moratti family's entire 35.0 percent stake in Saras.

Therefore, Vitol now holds 45.5 percent of Saras' share capital. Following the closing of the transaction, Varas will launch a mandatory tender offer for shares not currently held in Saras.

In addition, as part of the closing of the transaction, Angelo Moratti, Angelomario Moratti, Gabriele Moratti, and Giovanni Moratti resigned as members of the board of directors with immediate effect.

The board thus co-opted four new directors-Thomas Baker, Clive Christison, Dat Duong, and Ciprea Scolari, all nonexecutive members and representatives of Vitol.

Massimo Moratti then relinquished operating powers but will continue to serve as chairman of Saras until the settlement of the offer.

The board also approved the appointment of Franco Balsamo as chief executive officer.

"For me, my children, my grandchildren and my family, it is an emotionally charged moment related to the happy, long history together, but one that we live with the certainty that the entry of a primary player in the energy sector such as Vitol will guarantee the company, its employees and the local community a great future," said Massimo Moratti.

Russell Hardy, CEO of Vitol, commented, "We are delighted to have completed this important step. We look forward to bringing our experience to bear and working with the local management team on this next chapter of Saras. We are aware of our responsibilities, both to the Company and its stakeholders, and remain committed to investing in Saras' future."

Saras trades up 0.3 percent at EUR1.63 per share.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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