Italian oil & gas major Eni confirmed it is considering selling a stake in or listing its newly-formed retail and renewable energy business.

The company's board approved the launch of "a strategic project to define and evaluate the industrial plans for a new corporate entity" following an earlier decision to merge the retail and renewables operation, Eni said.

The company is looking for the new entity to develop renewable generation capacity of more than 5GW by 2025. Eni is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, and has set renewables goals of 15GW by 2030 and 60GW by mid-century.

Eni said the study "envisages the evaluation of multiple options to extrapolate the maximum value from this new entity during the course of 2022, subject to market conditions".

"Options under consideration include a stock exchange listing through an initial public offering (IPO), or the sale or exchange of a minority stake in the new entity."

Eni did not mention where it may look to list the new entity or what size of stake it could sell or exchange.

"The project, for which Eni has formed an internal team supported by strategic and financial advisors, is part of the company’s wider commitment to delivering value through the energy transition," it added.

Eni already has about 1GW of operating or sanctioned renewable capacity under its wing. Its plans span solar and offshore wind, in the latter case via a minority stake in Dogger Bank, the world's largest project off the UK, and plans to bid in the upcoming Norwegian round for new leases.

Along with peers such as Shell, BP, Total and Repsol, the Italian group is one of a clutch of European oil & gas groups that are among the most ambitious in seeking to build renewables portfolios.

Energy investment experts in an article for Recharge earlier this year said oil & gas groups should consider spinning-off their renewables operations to take full advantage of favourable market sentiment towards energy transition-focused operations.