MILAN Jan 22 Italian state-backed financing
agency Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is still in talks to buy
a stake in Finmeccanica unit AnsaldoEnergia and is
open to new industrial partners, its chief executive said in an
interview with Reuters.
Finmeccanica put its power engineering company on the block
over one year ago to help cut debt and focus on its core defence
and aerospace activities. Bids are seen by a Wednesday deadline.
"We are negotiating," Giovanni Gorno Tempini said.
"Conditions are in place to allow AnsaldoEnergia to continue to
grow and we have nothing against possible cooperation deals with
other industrial partners with a global reach."
Press reports said recently CDP could pull out of the race
for AnsaldoEnergia, leaving only Siemens and South
Korea's Doosan and Samsung in the reckoning.
CDP's offer for AnsaldoEnergia was seen by Finmeccanica as
less appetising because it involved just a minority stake.
Finmeccanica owns 55 percent of the energy unit while the
remainder is held by U.S. fund First Reserve.
Gorno Tempini also said talks to invest in the fixed-line
copper network of Telecom Italia were under way but
added a final decision still needed to be reached.
"It remains to be seen whether talks will bear fruit or
not," he said. "The aim is to reach a good balance between the
goals of the company and our target of fostering fibre-optic
development," he said.
CDP, 70 percent owned by Italy's treasury, has broadened its
traditional lending activity to include direct investments in
Italian companies and export finance to become what Gorno
Tempini likes to call a "development bank".