Private Italian contractor Salini Costruttori has bought an 8.13% stake in publicly-listed rival Impregilo, one of Italy's largest construction companies.
Salini said the investment was "strategic" and was aimed at creating the basis for a constructive dialogue, with a view to establishing "an industrial collaboration". The company said it wanted to promote growth and be able to compete better on international markets.
Salini made the share purchases between 21 September and 3 October, and bought a total of 32,710,061 shares.
A spokesperson from Impregilo confirmed that the transactions had taken place.
The news comes after Impregilo reported flat first half net sales of €1 billion (US$1.4 billion) after challenging conditions in the contractor's domestic Italian market and international markets kept figures broadly unchanged on last year.