RIMINI, Italy - Former corporate raider Roberto Colaninno denied on Tuesday that he was interested in taking a stake in Italy's Fiat, brushing off media speculation that he might make a fresh bid for the automaker.
The Financial Times reported this month that Colaninno could buy into Fiat, renewing a friendly bid made last year.
The financier stirred up a storm in 2003 with a turnaround proposal for Fiat -- rejected by the company -- which would have made him CEO.
"The Fiat case for me ended in 2003. I made a proposal, and the issue is closed," Colaninno said on the sidelines of a conference in the seaside resort of Rimini.
Speculation about a takeover bid for Fiat, possibly led by Colaninno, helped lift the stock more than 6 percent in heavy volume in June, after the death of Chairman Umberto Agnelli.
Colaninno, one of Italy's top entrepreneurs, rose to prominence through the shock takeover of Telecom Italia in 1999. Control of Italy's leading telecoms firm was wrested away from him in 2001, but left him with cash which he then invested in Piaggio, maker of the iconic Vespa scooter.
Piaggio, now controlled by Colaninno's holding company IMMSI, successfully bid earlier this month for struggling motorbike maker Aprilia.