MILAN, June 5 (Reuters) - Impregilo, the Italian builder at the centre of a control battle, is set to appoint UniCredit director Fabrizio Palenzona as chairman, its controlling shareholder Beniaminio Gavio said on Tuesday.
"I have personally asked Palenzona to join the board and become chairman. It's nearly a done deal," Gavio said, according to a spokesperson.
Palenzona would replace Massimo Ponzellini, who quit last week after being arrested in a probe relating to irregular loans granted by Popolare Milano when he was chairman of the mid-sized lender.
Gavio's control of Impregilo is being challenged by rival construction group Salini, which wants to turn Impregilo into a bigger construction-focused player.
Both the contenders hold nearly 30 percent of the builder.
Salini wants to seize board control at a shareholder meeting called for July 12. It has proposed a former Goldman Sachs banker as chairman and a rival slate of directors, mostly independents. (Reporting By Sabina Suzzi; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)