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Salini secures backing to create Italian construction champion

MILAN, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Italy's largest builder, Salini Impregilo, has secured financial backing to realise a government-backed plan to build a national construction champion, which includes the group's proposed takeover of troubled rival Astaldi.

Salini made the much-anticipated announcement on Friday, saying it had secured financing commitments for the plan, dubbed "Project Italy", from state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Salini's major family shareholder, Salini Costruttori, and three major Italian financial institutions. (Reporting by Milan newsroom Editing by Mark Bendeich)