MILAN, June 14 (Reuters) - Privately-owned fintech group ION has received a green light from Italy's central bank to buy bad loan and property manager Prelios from U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The acquisition marks the latest investment by ION founder Andrea Pignataro in his home country, following the purchase in 2021 of Cedacri, Italy's main provider of outsourced IT services to banks, and Cerved, a credit data group.

Pignataro's 6 billion euro ($6.4 billion) investments in Italy in recent years have given ION a prominent role in the country's financial sector as a supplier of key services, and placed it in control of sensitive data.

The Bank of Italy's approval of the latest transaction, which sources had said valued Prelios above 1 billion euros including debt, comes after an extensive assessment, including of ION's complex corporate structure.

The transaction has also been vetted by the government, which has powers to block deals over assets deemed of strategic national importance.

Rome

cleared it

after secured from ION copies of the contracts for the loans the group will rely on to finance the buyout. ($1 = 0.9349 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Gavin Jones)