MILAN, March 14 (Reuters) - Il Sole 24 Ore Chief Executive Franco Moscetti said on Tuesday that the planned capital increase for Italy's top financial newspaper would be closer to 50 million euros ($53.18 million) than 100 million euros.
Moscetti said the paper, controlled by Italian employers association Confindustria, had ruled out a debt-to-equity conversion which he said lenders would reject, adding that he would seek an extension to a debt moratorium.
He made the comments on the margins of a conference in Rome.
The newspaper said on Monday it had put its editor Roberto Napoletano on unpaid leave of absence after it emerged last week he was being investigated for allegedly issuing false corporate statements.
The company probably will not hold a board meeting on Thursday, as had been expected, over ways to bolster its balance sheet because Moscetti said he had "not had time to speak to the banks, and their support to the plan is needed". ($1 = 0.9403 euros) (Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, writing by Steve Scherer)