MILAN Dec 19 General Electric is set to
sign on Thursday a deal to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio
excluding its space division, sources close to the talks said.
"GE is expected to buy the non-space assets," one of the
sources said. The deal is expected to be worth around 3 billion
euros ($4 billion), sources close to the situation told Reuters
Turin-based Avio, which supplies engine parts for
Eurofighter Typhoons and also to engine makers GE and
Rolls-Royce, is owned by BCV Investments, in which Cinven
private equity has a majority.
Italian defence group Finmeccanica owns around 14
percent of Avio, which had revenues of more than 2 billion euros
The sources said the deal with GE will be signed on Thursday
and formally announced on Friday.
Cinven bought Avio in 2006 in a deal that valued it at about
2.6 billion euros.
Avio's space assets, worth an estimated 200-300 million
euros, are expected to be sold separately upon approval by the
Italian government which considers them strategic, the sources
France's aerospace group Safran would be an obvious
buyer for the space unit, but such a move would face political
opposition, according to Italian bankers involved. However a
source close to the deal said Safran was interested in the whole
Avio group and not just its space business.
The government is thought to be reluctant to let Avio's
space operations fall into foreign hands and could prefer to
cede them to state-backed private equity fund FSI.