Newswire

Agnelli holding cuts stake in Italy's Edison

MILAN, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Giovanni Agnelli & C Sapa, a financial holding of the Agnelli family which controls Fiat, has cut its stake in Italian energy firm Edison to below two percent, market regulator Consob said on Wednesday.

Investors and analysts watch changes in Edison's shareholder structure closely, expecting debt-heavy Fiat to eventually sell its stake, clearing the way for new shareholders.

Fiat is a core shareholder in Italenergia Bis, a holding company that controls about 62 percent of Edison, and also used to have a direct stake of nearly 2.6 percent in the Milan-based energy firm.

Figures on Consob's website showed that the Agnelli holding had cut its stake to below two percent -- a threshold for Italian firms to report to the market about their holdings in listed companies -- from nearly 2.9 percent.

The stake was lowered as a result of Fiat's sale of its insurer Toro -- through which the holding had owned part of the Edison stake -- to publishers De Agostini.

Fiat has been actively selling its most profitable assets to cut a hefty debt pile and finalised the 2.4 billion-euro sale of Toro to De Agostini on July 30, the same day Agnelli's holding cut its stake in Edison.

"(Agnelli's holding) is currently keeping a stake of about 1.5 percent in Edison. Toro had a stake of about one percent in Edison, which left the (Fiat) group together with the insurer," said a Fiat source.