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Finmeccanica unit AnsaldoEnergia draws state fund interest-sources

By Paolo Biondi

ROME, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Italian aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica has received an expression of interest for its AnsaldoEnergia unit from state-backed Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), two sources close to the matter said on Monday, confirming weekend reports.

FSI's offer, which appears to be for the 55 percent stake in the company held by Finmeccanica, would be made together with a group of Italian businessmen, the sources said.

The letter of interest did not name possible partners, one of them said.

FSI declined to comment.

Reports of an offer from FSI emerged after last week sources said Siemens , Europe's biggest engineering group, had emerged as favourite to buy AnsaldoEnergia.

One of the sources said on Monday that the group of Italian businessmen were unlikely to have financial strength to fund investments AnsaldoEnergia needs to remain competitive.

Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi, already under pressure from a corruption probe, has promised to sell assets worth 1 billion euros in Italy's No.2 industrial group by the end of the year.

((danilo.masoni@thomsonreuters.com)(+39-02-66129734)(Reuters

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Keywords: FINMECCANICA ANSALDO/