Italy's Acea looking for partner for solar power business - paper

MILAN, May 29 (Reuters) - Italy’s Rome-based Acea is planning to spin off its solar power operations and find a financial partner to help it develop the business, the group’s CEO said on Saturday.

The utility has picked Intesa Sanpaolo’s IMI Corporate & Investment Banking as adviser and expects expressions of interest by mid-June, Giuseppe Gola said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore.

He said the deal was expected to conclude next year but would be satisfied if it was wrapped up by the end of this year.

Acea, one of Italy’s biggest regional utilities, is looking to install 747 megawatts of solar capacity by the end of 2024.

Gola said if everything went smoothly, the group would raise its targets when half-year results were presented. In the first quarter core earnings jumped 13% to 312 million euros ($380 million).

The CEO also said the group was looking at possible acquisitions in the water sector.

$1 = 0.8204 euros Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan