Intrum CEO says eyeing further investments in Italy

VENICE, Italy, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Intrum Justitia , Europe’s biggest loan collector, wants to grow its presence in Italy after joining forces with Intesa Sanpaolo in the debt servicing business, its chief executive said.

Intrum in April agreed to buy 51 percent of a joint-venture made up of Intesa’s debt recovery business and Intrum’s Italian operations, creating a new company that will manage around 40 billion euros in soured debts.

Intrum CEO Mikael Ericson said the new entity would look to expand its servicing business to third parties, including by buying portfolios of bad loans. He did not rule out it could also be interested in acquiring another bank’s debt collection unit.

“For us it will be important to deploy [the platform we created with Intesa} in the Italian market and attract servicing opportunities from other participants,” he told journalists on the sidelines of Banca IFIS’ annual NPL meeting in Venice.

“On top of that, we will continue to support our clients ... buying portfolios ... and if we see an additional platform that supports our value proposition we won’t step away from that, but it’s not the priority.” (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)