MILAN - U.S. and British funds are interested in Italian utility A2A's asset disposal plan as well as direct investments, a spokesman said on Monday.
The A2A spokesman also denied a weekend newspaper report it had received an offer from Swiss utility Alpiq for the 5.16 percent stake it has in the company. He said A2A was in no rush to sell its stake in Alpiq.
Without naming its sources, Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday that A2A, backed by bank Mediobanca, was seeking to sell its Alpiq stake by the end of this year as the company seeks to cut debt and pay a dividend.
Last month a source close to the matter said A2A's 2009 dividend was at risk unless the regional utility managed to sell its stake in the Swiss power company.
Il Sole said an unnamed UK fund appeared to be interested.
There is no hurry (to sell the stake), an A2A spokesman said. There has been interest from U.S. and UK funds in A2A's asset disposal plan as well as for direct investments in A2A.
Il Sole said Alpiq had made an offer which was deemed too low. It said the book value of the stake is 500 million euros ($744 million).
There has been no proposal from the Swiss (Alpiq) for our stake of 5.16 percent, the A2A spokesman said.
Last February, the chairman of A2A's management board said the Alpiq stake could be one of the non-strategic assets the group could sell in 2013. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes) ($1=.6720 Euro)