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Leonardo Close to Selling Submarine Unit WASS to Fincantieri

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 17, 2024

(File photo: Fincantieri)

(File photo: Fincantieri)

Italian defense group Leonardo is close to finalizing a deal to sell its submarine unit Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) to shipbuilder Fincantieri, Leonardo's chief executive said on Monday.

"We are talking days, not months," Leonardo CEO Roberto Cingolani told reporters in the port city of Genoa, in remarks confirmed by a spokesperson.

The deal, expected to be worth between 200 million and 300 million euros ($213 million-$320 million), would be part of Fincantieri's broader strategy to grow through acquisitions and focus more on the fast-growing defence sector and strengthen its position in the underwater business.

Cingolani said there had been a slowdown in negotiations due to "temporary resistances" from internal managers, but added that he was in direct contact with his counterpart, Fincantieri's Pierroberto Folgiero, on the deal.

Both companies are state-controlled.

Financial newspaper Milano Finanza reported on Saturday that the negotiations, though at an advanced stage, were being slowed by disagreements over the price of WASS and the scope of assets and employees covered by the deal.

($1 = 0.9382 euros)

(Reuters - Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Alvise Armellini and Mark Potter)

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