(Releads with confirmation of talks)
PARIS Oct 11 Monaco said on Tuesday it was
close to a deal to purchase a stake in the newly-privatised Nice
airport from the winning consortium led by Italy's Atlantia
Talks with Nice-Cote d'Azur's new owners "have intensified
and should lead to an agreement" that would see the principality
buy a 150 million euro ($168 million) holding, Monegasque
Finance Minister Jean Castellini told Reuters by email.
Concession operator Atlantia, its Rome airport subsidiary
and EDF, the French power utility, agreed in July to
purchase a 64 percent stake in the airport, whose privatisation
is expected to raise 1.2 billion euros.
BFM television reported earlier that Monaco was seeking a 5
percent holding and also wanted to change the airport's name to
Nice-Monaco or Nice Monte-Carlo.
However, Castellini said the name was "not an issue and is
not part of the negotiations".
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva and
Laurence Frost; Editing by Andrew Callus)