(Recasts lead, adds management comments)
MILAN Aug 1 Italian defence group Finmeccanica
is gearing up to sell its rail transport businesses
and reviewing options for its U.S. electronics arm DRS
Technologies part of efforts to slim down and focus on its more
Mauro Moretti, former head of Italy's railways who was
appointed Finmeccanica chief executive in May, told analysts in
a conference call the state-controlled group had too many
products and businesses to run them all efficiently.
"There are not enough resources to invest in all of them ...
We need fewer businesses with higher returns."
Finmeccanica generates more than 80 percent of its revenues
and orders in the defence and security electronics sector,
helicopters and aeronautics.
It also has a wide network of subsidiaries, joint ventures
and partnerships as well as a controlling stake in rail
technology unit Ansaldo STS and loss-making train maker
Moretti said the group is now expecting offers for its rail
transport businesses by the end of August, a month later than
"In October we have to decide," he said, adding that to date
there had been offers from two industrial groups.
Italian newspapers have suggested that France's Thales
, Canada's Bombardier, Japan's Hitachi
and China's Insigma and China CNR Corp
could be interested.
Asked about the group's U.S. defence electronics unit DRS
Technologies, Moretti said the group was looking at what to do
with the company. He said it only made sense to have a company
in the United States if it made a profit.
"I don't exclude any opportunity at the moment," he said.
Finmeccanica bought DRS in 2008 for $5.2 billion.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes. Editing by Jane Merriman)