MILAN, June 3 Italian industry minister Flavio
Zanonato is against selling units of defence group Finmeccanica
without first checking if they can be kept in Italy,
especially technology group Ansaldo STS, the minister
told an Italian paper.
"I am against selling portions of Finmeccanica before having
verified if we can keep them productively inside Italy,"
Zanonato was quoted as saying in an interview with Italian daily
"This is particularly true for an industrial jewel like
Finmeccanica, 30 percent owned by the state and at the
centre of a probe into alleged international corruption, is
looking to sell non-core assets including Ansaldo STS to raise
cash to reduce debt.
Finmeccanica controls 40 percent of Ansaldo STS. The group
attracted last year interest from Japan's Hitachi, but
talks later cooled, sources familiar with the issue told Reuters
at the time.
Other assets on the block include power engineering business
AnsaldoEnergia, which last year attracted at 1.3 billion euro
offer from Germany's Siemens, and unprofitable train
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca; Editing by David Holmes)