RIMINI, Italy Aug 25 Italian defence group
Finmeccanica expects to complete a delayed deal to
sell its rail transport business by mid-October, Chief Executive
Mauro Moretti said on Monday.
Finmeccanica has been trying to sell cash-strapped train
division Ansaldo Breda and profitable signalling business
Ansaldo STS for three years to reduce a group debt of
4.8 billion euros ($6.33 billion).
Asked on the sidelines of a conference in the eastern
Italian seaside town of Rimini when the deal should be
completed, Moretti said: "By October, the middle of October."
Moretti said he did not know about the offers received, as
he had not yet been back to his office after the summer holiday.
Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier and
Japan's Hitachi are the front-runners to buy the units,
ahead of three other groups that are expected to bid, sources
close to the sale plans said earlier this month.
On Aug. 1, Moretti, who took over at the helm of
Finmeccanica as part of a broad shake-up of state-owned firms in
May, said he expected offer for the rail units by the end of
August, a month later than planned.
(1 US dollar = 0.7580 euro)
(Reporting by Paolo Biondi, writing by Isla Binnie)