MILAN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Leonardo intends to keep control of DRS, the Italian defence group said on Thursday, as it assesses options for the U.S. unit including a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Answering a question from Reuters on the potential flotation of DRS, the group said any changes at the unit would take into account the importance of the U.S. market for the group.
“This vision and a possible IPO are not contradictory, as there are different ways to enhance the value of assets, while at the same time maintaining their control and benefiting from the advantages of having a significant footprint in the country...,” Leonardo said in the statement to Reuters.
Speaking at an event earlier on Thursday, Leonardo Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said the group wanted to increase its U.S. presence “in terms of services, products and systems”.
The state-controlled group said earlier this month it was considering various options to create value for its shareholders, including the possibility of listing DRS, but said it had not taken any formal decision yet.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Leonardo was working with Goldman Sachs on options for DRS, which the Italian company bought in 2008 in a deal valuing the U.S. company at $5.2 billion, including $1.27 billion of debt. (Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Giulia Segreti and Mark Potter)
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