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CERNOBBIO, Italy, April 7 (Reuters) - The acquisition of STX France by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri it is a first step that will pave the way for further consolidation of the industry in Europe, the chairman of the Italian group said on Friday.
"We have always seen the (deal) with STX France ... as a first step in a broader project to consolidate the shipbuilding industry in Europe," Fincantieri Chairman Giampiero Massolo told reporters on the sidelines of a business conference.
The French government said on Thursday it had reached a preliminary deal clearing the way for Fincantieri to acquire a 48 percent stake in shipbuilder STX France, as Italian buyers aim to take control of the firm. (Reporting by Francesca Landini and Giulio Piovaccari)