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Italy's Cerved confirms sale talks of its debt collection arm

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March 7 (Reuters) - Italian credit group Cerved Group SPA confirmed sale talks of its debt collection arm in a statement on Sunday.

The confirmation comes a day after Reuters reported about the company's advanced discussions with U.S. investment firm Centerbridge for a deal.

"Cerved Group S.p.A. confirms that negotiations are underway with private equity firms for the sale of the subsidiary Cerved Credit Management Group S.r.l," the statement said.

The company did not name any private equity firms involved in the talks.

Two sources told Reuters on Saturday that Cerved is in advanced talks with Centerbridge to clinch the long-awaited sale of its debt collection arm which is valued at about 400 million euros ($475 million).

Centerbridge is the frontrunner in the discussions and could clinch a deal in the coming weeks, possibly paving the way to a full takeover of Milan-listed Cerved which has been on the radar screen of several heavyweight buyout funds in recent years, the sources said. ($1 = 0.8391 euros) (Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)