2017 - 180 years of history
Italgas turned 180 years on September 12th: a milestone that belongs not only to the company, but to an entire industrial sector and to the all of the Country, for which the company has developed a fundamental service, as is that of gas distribution, leaving a lasting mark on Italy’s lifestyle. The 180-year history has been celebrated in a book written by historian Valerio Castronovo, published by Laterza for the “Grandi Opere” series, and with some events involving the Grand Stations of four cities: Turin, Milan, Rome and Naples.
Italgas returns to be listed on the stock market
After 13 years of absence from the list, Italgas returns to the Milan Equity Market, following the separation from Snam: the transaction that will allow the Company to seize the development opportunities associated with the new contests for the Gas distribution service.
Snam acquires Italgas
Snam acquires the entire share capital of Italgas from Eni, in a deal which creates a new group – with Snam Rete Gas, Stogit and GNL Italia – that covers the entire supply chain of regulated activities in the field of gas in Italy, from transport to storage, from urban distribution to regasification.
The delisting of the stock
On 7 February 2003, Italgas is delisted, marking a historic day for Italgas and for the Stock Exchange as it loses a stock that had been on the market since 1900. In fact, as early as 14 July 1851, the date it was founded by Cavour, the Turin Stock Exchange had listed two companies which subsequently formed Italgas.
Becoming a part of Eni
The Company’s majority share quota is purchased by Eni, already one of the leading energy groups in the world. Starting in 1970, Italgas becomes the protagonist of the widespread distribution of natural gas throughout the country, revolutionizing the distribution of gas. The process supports the development of the country and permanently changes part of the Italian lifestyle.
Towards natural gas
Italgas takes its first steps towards widespread use of natural gas. In the subsequent years, at Lodi, near the natural gas fields discovered in the Po Valley, it builds the first natural gas urban distribution network.
World War II
By the eve of World War II, Italgas is back in good health, and continues to work in the gas sector and maintain investments in the chemical sector with the companies Schiaparelli and Cokitalia, managed jointly with Montecatini. The company weathers World War II, fighting to protect its workers and to hold onto its plants, both threatened by the Nazi occupation forces.
The global crisis
The Great Depression of 1929 and the loss of bank credit from Credito Italiano lead the Company under Panzarasa’s management close to financial collapse. The Company is saved by Mussolini’s government and by Banca Commerciale Italiana’s financial institution, SOFINDIT. Panzarasa is replaced by Alfredo Frassati, who will lead the company for 30 years.
Rinaldo Panzarasa takes office as chairman of the company, and modifies the corporate structure: Italgas becomes a holding company. The companies that Italgas brings into its Group also include its competitor: Società Torinese Industrie Gas Elettricità (STIGE), the former Società Anonima Consumatori Gaz Luce di Torino.
In the following years the company expands its distribution network in Italy. At the end of the nineteenth century, Italgas invests in the real estate sector and in technological development, acquires the control of several Italian companies in the field of gas, and consolidates a solid position in the market on the eve of the First World War.
Società Gaz Luce loses its monopoly to the newly-founded competitor: Società Anonima Consumatori Gaz Luce di Torino. Reacting, it recapitalizes under the new name of Società Italiana per il Gaz (and subsequently Società Italiana per il Gas, better known as Italgas).
The company merges with Società Anonima Piemontese per l’Illuminazione a Gaz di Torino, creating the Società Gaz Luce di Torino. The new company consolidates the gas distribution network, makes improvements to its systems and sets up new storage facilities.
The turning point
The company signs an agreement with the Municipality of Turin to supply city lighting services for nine years.
The first concession
The City of Turin grants the company the right to use the subsoil, free of charge. Gas lighting, initially, is provided only to certain public buildings and to the wealthiest local families.
The company’s origins
The Compagnia di Illuminazione a Gaz per la città di Torino is founded to provide gas lighting for the city of Turin. It is the first Italian company to specialize in the distillation of solid fuels to produce the gas used for lighting. Its first Workroom is built in the Crocetta district of Turin.