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UPDATE 1-Atlantia enters exclusive talks with CDP over motorway assets sale

(Adds details, background)

MILAN, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Italy’s Atlantia said on Tuesday it had entered exclusive talks until Oct. 18 with state lender Cassa Despositi e Prestiti (CDP) over the sale of the group’s motorway assets.

The infrastructure group said in a statement it was open to considering a potential offer from CDP and other investors for its 88% stake in motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia.

Sources had told Reuters on Monday the group’s board had decided to enter exclusive talks with CDP in an effort to end a dispute over the future of Autostrade.

Atlantia has been embroiled in a legal dispute with the Italian government since 2018 when a bridge run by Autostrade collapsed, killing 43 people.

The government has threatened to strip Autostrade of its motorway licence.

The two parties had moved closer to an accord in July, when Rome approved a plan that would see Atlantia cede control of Autostrade to CDP, but talks have since stalled due to disagreements over how to implement the plan.

Minority investors in Atlantia and Autostrade have opposed a scheme that would see CDP get a controlling stake in Autostrade through a reserved capital increase in the unit.

Fresh exclusive talks will allow the two parties to discuss a different scheme under which CDP and other investors could file an offer for Atlantia’s entire stake in the motorway unit, the company said.

Several other sticking points that have blocked a deal so far, however, need to be solved, people familiar with the matter said. (Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Valentina Za and Sam Holmes)

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