MILAN Nov 17 Japan's Nidec Corp is interested in Finmeccanica's power engineering unit AnsaldoEnergia and is ready to invest 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) to expand its presence in Europe, president Shigenobu Nagamori told Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday.
Italian state-owned defence company Finmeccanica has put on the block its 55 percent AnsaldoEnergia stake as part of a shake-up of Italy's No.2 industrial group. The rest of AnsaldoEnergia is owned by U.S. private equity group First Reserve.
"I have a great interest in AnsaldoEnergia," Nagamori told the Italian daily. He said he could not say whether the Japanese group had already put forward an offer for the company.
A bid from Nidec, which produces micro motors used in electronic devices, would have to compete with Italian and foreign buyers also interested in AnsaldoEnergia.
German engineering group Siemens and Italian state-backed fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) are in talks over possible bids for Finmeccanica's unit, which employs about 3,000 people.
žNidec's president said he was not put off by competition.
"These (offers) do not stop my intentions," he said, adding that Nidec could team up with FSI to enter the Italian company.
"We could join (FSI) as investors, we definitely want to enter AnsaldoEnergia's sector."
Nidec Corp knows the Italian economy well as it bought industrial motor maker Ansaldo Sistemi Industrial SpA in May, creating a group called Nidec-Asi.
Finmeccanica declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7871 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini. Editing by Jane Merriman)