Italian PM says accord on Atlantia tollways unit close

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Atlantia Group is seen outside their headquarters in Rome, Italy August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy is close to reaching an agreement over the future of Autostrade per l'Italia, the tollways unit of infrastructure group Atlantia ATL.MI, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday.

Atlantia, controlled by the powerful Benetton family, agreed in July to pull out of Autostrade following the 2018 collapse of a motorway bridge run by the unit, in which 43 people died.

But progress has been slowed by difficulties in agreeing a valuation for the unit with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which is due to take control of Autostrade under the spin-off plan favoured by the government.

Speaking at an event organised by the Fatto Quotidiano newspaper, Conte said discussions were in the “final straight”, without giving further details.

Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Crispian Balmer