ROME Jan 17 Italian aerospace and defence
company Finmeccanica has set a Jan. 23 deadline for
bidders to submit binding offers for the whole of its power
engineering AnsaldoEnergia unit, a source close to the matter
said on Thursday, confirming earlier press reports.
Finmeccanica is selling AnsaldoEnergia and other assets for
a total of 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to avoid a costly
credit rating downgrade and focus on its core aerospace and
The source said South Korea's Samsung was carrying out a due
diligence on Ansaldo Energia, bringing to three the number of
potential foreign bidders for the unit.
Germany's Siemens and South Korean group Dossan
have already expressed interest.
Finmeccanica owns 55 percent of AnsaldoEnergia, while the
remainder is held by U.S. fund First Reserve, which has a right
of first refusal of the Italian group's stake.
First Reserve bought the stake a couple of years ago for
around 500 million euros.
In the last few months, also a group of Italian investors
led by state-backed fund FSI had expressed interest for
AnsaldoEnergia. The fund had made an offer only for a 25 percent
($1 = 0.7486 euros)
(Reporting By Paolo Biondi, writing by Danilo Masoni; editing
by Giselda Vagnoni and Antonella Ciancio)