Pirelli holding says in exclusive talks with funds

MILAN Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:24pm EST

MILAN Nov 20 (Reuters) - Two Italian private equity funds are in exclusive talks over a possible financial and business partnership with a holding company that indirectly controls tyremaker Pirelli, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

A deal would enable Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera to pay back debt and keep control of the world's fifth-largest tyremaker.

Confirming earlier media reports, MTP Sapa holding, Investindustrial and Clessidra said talks would continue until Dec. 15. They said no agreement had yet been reached.

Tronchetti Provera controls the tyremaker through a complex structure involving three interlocking holding companies: MTP Sapa, GPI, and the Milan-listed Camfin. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio, editing by Emilio Parodi)