Salini Impregilo looking for acquisitions; may leave Italy -FT

mercoledì 13 agosto 2014 01:36

Aug 12 (Reuters) - Salini Impregilo SpA is hunting for acquisitions and is still mulling whether to move its headquarters out of recession-hit Italy, the group's head told the FT in an interview on Tuesday.

Italy's largest construction company was not looking at domestic rivals, but was eyeing overseas deals to increase its exposure to new markets, the paper quoted Chief Executive Pietro Salini as saying.

"I would like to have exposure in countries where we can grow much faster, which is very few," Salini told the daily.

Salini Impregilo, which reported a jump in half-year revenue last week, gets less than a third of its revenue from Italy.

CEO Salini told the FT he had still not ruled out moving the company's headquarters out of Italy, but he was more positive about the country's prospects since Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had come to power.

Renzi, 39, took office in February after pushing aside a party rival and is promising broad reforms, including several aimed at turning around Italy's perennially sluggish economy.

"For the time being we are a bit more confident. At the end of last year it was difficult for us to stay here, the (borrowing) spreads were very important. Being Italian we had to pay three times more than our competitors just (due to) the fact (that we were present in Italy)," Salini told the paper.

If the group relocated, it would be the second Italian company to do so this year, following Fiat SpA, the carmaker now part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, whose shareholder's recently approved moving to London.

Salini Impregilo was confident that a government decree titled "Unblock Italy" would win approval, Salini told the FT, adding that it would release about 30 billion euros ($40 billion) for domestic infrastructure projects.

The company could not immediately be reached for a comment outside of regular business hours in Italy. ($1 = 0.7481 Euros) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore. Editing by Andre Grenon)