Italy strategic fund says made offer for stake in Spain's Deoleo

MILAN Thu Mar 6, 2014 5:17pm EST

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's state-backed Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) said on Thursday it has made a non-binding offer to buy a 30 percent stake in Spanish olive oil manufacturer Deoleo (OLEO.MC), as it seeks to bring home some local brands.

The stake in the olive oil company has been put on the block by several Spanish banks, including nationalized Spanish lender Bankia (BKIA.MC) and Barcelona-based Caixabank (CABK.MC).

Bankia, which owns an 18.2 percent stake in Deoleo, is on a drive to shed assets after it received the biggest part of a 41 billion euro European bail-in for Spanish lenders last year.

"We filed an offer for it (Deoleo) ... it controls Italian brands that are interesting for us," a spokesman for the Italian fund told Reuters on Thursday.

The Spanish company, which posted revenues around 800 million euros ($1 billion) in 2013, owns the well-known and widely distributed Italian food oil brands Bertolli, Carapelli and Sasso.

($1 = 0.7225 Euro)

(Reporting by Luca Trogni, writing by Francesca Landini; editing by G Crosse)

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