Italy’s Edison is reportedly preparing to sell a 40% stake in its renewable energy generation arm, to cash in on the growing investor appetite for the acquisition of green assets.

The company is expected to commence an auction process for the stake sale in the coming weeks, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Edison, which is owned by France’s EDF, is working with Lazard and Societe Generale to attract the participation of big private equity firms in the auction.

As there is no financial commitment from EDF for the expansion of its Italian unit, the deal is expected to enable Edison to gain resources for its green energy operations, the news agency reported, citing the sources.

Edison’s renewable energy generation business is anticipated to get a valuation of more than €1bn ($1.22bn) in the deal.

After the sale of its upstream exploration and production assets, Edison is currently focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

In January, Edison has signed an agreement with F2i Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture to acquire 70% stake in wind energy group E2i Energie Speciali.

E2i Energie Speciali’s portfolio included 38 wind farms with an installed capacity of over 700MW, with an additional 4 projects with 74MW and three small solar plants.

With operations in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Toscana, Sicilia Regions, the company produces nearly 1TWh of clean electricity per year.

The transaction was expected to expand renewable assets controlled by Edison to a total capacity of more than 1GW.

Prior to the signing of the agreement, Edison already owned a 30% stake in E2i Energie Speciali.