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Leonardo working on OTO Melara "combination", needs new govt first - CEO

·1-min read
Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo speaks at Foreign Press Association in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - Leonardo is still at work to reach a deal for its OTO Melara cannon maker unit, but will need a new government in Rome to be able to finalise any potential agreement, the Italian defence group's CEO said on Thursday.

State-controlled Leonardo had indicated late last year it was ready to put on the block both OTO Melara and its naval torpedo unit Wass, but it has failed so far to reach a deal for either business.

Given that the sector is strategic, any transactions need clearing by the government. Italy holds general elections on Sept. 25.

Reuters reported in June that Germany's Rheinmetall had sent an offer for a minority stake in OTO Melara valuing the whole business at almost 430 million euros ($462 million). The government had been informed but Rheinmetall still needed to secure Rome backing.

CEO Alessando Profumo told analysts in a post-results call that any potential deal would not be a disposal, adding Leonardo was looking for a "combination that will create a stronger player", without elaborating.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Valentina Za)

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