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    The National Bank of Italy will buy the first stake in the La Scala sports stadium, the country’s largest, a source close to the matter said.

    The bank has already announced that it will purchase the first 15 per cent of the stake for about 5.2 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in an initial deal with the local government, the source said.

    It will also buy the remaining 45 per cent.

    The move follows a decision to sell the land, which will be developed on an 8.5 hectares site in the city of Piedmont, to the local authorities, a move that was made in March.

    The land will be turned into a public park.

    The sale will take place in the first quarter of 2019.

    In March, the city announced that the sale of the land was contingent on securing a financial support from the bank, but it has since said that it did not have enough funds to complete the project.

    La Scala is owned by a private consortium led by Italian businessman Giuseppe Cimolino, who owns the Serie A club, Juventus, and the countrys third-tier champions Juventus.

    Banca di Berlusconi, Italy’s biggest political party, has said it will hold a referendum on the sale, which is expected to be held on March 27.

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