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Acea hopes to clarify GDF relations in a month-report

Source: Reuters - Mon 12th Oct 2009

Italian utility Acea hopes to clarify relations with shareholder GDF Suez in a month but does not expect news on this from an upcoming boardmeeting, its chairman told a newspaper on Saturday.

Acea said in July it was pressing on with efforts to reorganise its partnership with the French firm after it ditched plans to buy Rome's gas distribution grid.

GDF Suez, which holds 9.98 percent of Acea, wants to expand its joint venture with the Rome-based utility in the powersector to include gas activities.

"There is no delay with regards to (discussions on) the alliance with GDF Suez" Acea Chairman Giancarlo Cremonesi told Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

"We are in a decisive phase - in a month, we will have better understood, maybe even defined, what to do together."

He said he did not expect any news to come out on the matter at an Oct. 15 board meeting, which will look at Acea's strategic plan.

"For now our main objective is to make all the activities weare involved in valid and competitive" he said.

Cremonesi said Acea was ready to look at potential alliances and acquisitions. "We will do it case by case. There are many irons in the fire, for example on the alternative energy front."

He added potential acquisitions could come about in the nuclear sector in upcoming months. "We will see whether to forma consortium with other companies," he said. 

"If companies group together, maybe with important partners such as A2A or Eni, we are ready to do our part" he added,referring to utility A2A and oil company Eni.

Acea is also looking at a bid for the new concession for the Rome gas grid as well as pushing ahead on the alternative energy front - wind energy and photovoltaics, Cremonesi said.

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