* To miss core earnings target on AnsaldoBreda unit
* Expects more asset disposals in coming months
* Open to all options to solve AnsaldoBreda problem
MILAN/ROME, Nov 8 Italian defense group
Finmeccanica would prefer to use a tender process for
a possible sale of its Ansaldo STS rail technology
business, part of plans to stem losses from the group's train
The state-controlled group is trying to combine profitable
Ansaldo STS with loss-making train-maker AnsaldoBreda
to create a single transport business which could attract
buyers, Chief Executive Alessandro Pansa said during an analysts
call on Friday, adding that all options were on the table.
Pansa said the company would find a solution for
AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS jointly or separately and said he
would prefer to sell Ansaldo STS through a tender process rather
than entering into talks with just one suitor.
Finmeccanica, in which the state owns a 30 percent stake,
put its rail and other non-core assets up for sale nearly two
years ago to cut debts and focus on aerospace and defence.
Last month, trade unions said Italy was in talks to bring in
General Electric or another foreign company as a majority
investor in AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS.
But the company, Italy's second-biggest employer, has
struggled to carry out its disposal plans due to political
opposition to foreign takeovers. Delays to asset sales have
prompted credit ratings agencies to downgrade the company to
Finmeccanica said on Thursday it would miss its core
earnings target for the year because of ongoing problems at its
The CEO said: "We believe it is necessary to act firmly and
promptly to minimize the absorption of cash by AnsaldoBreda from
As part of a strategy to tackle problems at its transport
business, Pansa said AnsaldoBreda would deliver on existing
contracts while making sure new orders would generate profits.
The company said it would book a capital gain from the
recent sale of its power engineering unit Ansaldo Energia and
seek to sell other assets to focus on its aerospace and defence
"In the next few months we expect to complete some other
asset sales ... give us a little bit of credit," the CEO said.
At 1405 GMT shares in Finmeccanica were down 6 percent at
5.10 euros after a plunge to 4.95 euros in the early trading.
Finmeccanica, which reported a net loss of 73 million euros
in the third-quarter, said it expects to post a full-year profit
thanks to proceeds from its Ansaldo Energia disposal.