September 20, 2019 / 4:14 PM / a month ago

Leonardo CEO pours cold water on Renzi's idea of tie-up with Fincantieri

MILAN, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Italian defence group Leonardo on Friday dismissed the idea of a potential tie-up with shipbuilder Fincantieri recently floated by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The two groups are both controlled by Italy’s Treasury and cooperate in the military shipbuilding sector.

According to Renzi, who has no ministerial role in the government but whose political movement holds the balance of power in the ruling coalition, a merger would create a national champion and increase Rome’s ability to invest in the defence and space sectors.

Attending a public event, Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo said further diversifying the company’s business could be counter-productive.

“In some cases putting together many businesses could become a limit,” Profumo told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

Profumo added that some critics already saw Leonardo’s operations as too far-ranging. The group’s business areas currently include helicopters, aircrafts, aerostructures, electronics, cyber security and space. (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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