MILAN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Italian mobile phone operator Wind, which is controlled by Russia's Vimpelcom, has started exclusive talks to sell its towers to Spain's Abertis, three sources close to the matter said on Thursday.
Another source said the exclusive period would only last "a few days" and without an accord the assets would be auctioned again.
Italian tower operator EI Towers as well as Italy's F2i together with U.S. fund Providence were also interested in buying Wind's towers.
Vimpelcom could not be immediately reached for comment and Abertis declined to comment.
Reporting by Massimo Gaia and Claudia Cristoferi; additional reporting by Robert Hetz in Madrid, writing by Danilo Masoni, editing by Paola Arosio