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Impregilo CEO investigated over Romania bid -sources

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 2:26 PM ET

MILAN, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Impregilo's Chief Executive Pietro Salini is being investigated in connection with a probe into a motorway tender in Romania, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

Salini, also head of the namesake builder Salini, took control of the board of larger peer Impregilo in July after months of bitter wrangling with rival group Gavio, which previously controlled Italy's sector leader.

His dual role attracted accusations of a conflict of interest in running the two companies and prompted Gavio to file a legal complaint which triggered the investigation.

Both Impregilo and Salini took part in the ongoing Romanian tender, even though they filed bids in separate lots.

Public prosecutors in Milan are looking into whether the alleged conflict of interest had an impact on the company's choices in the tender.

In a statement on Wednesday, Impregilo's chairman Claudio Costamagna said the allegations were groundless.

Two other people are being investigated, the judicial sources said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a source close to the matter said Italy's tax police searched last week the offices of Salini and of the Sina unit of the Gavio group to acquire documents in connection with the probe.

Salini and Gavio each hold just less than 30 percent of Italy's largest builder Impregilo.

Last month, Impregilo and Salini signed a cooperation deal, a first step towards a planned merger.

(Reporting by Sara Rossi; Editing by Mark Potter and Mike Nesbit)

((danilo.masoni@thomsonreuters.com)(+39 02 6612 9734 Reuters Messaging: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: IMPREGILO SALINI/