Leonardo files for DRS NYSE listing, to be completed by end-March

Slideshow ( 2 images )

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Leonardo on Friday filed for the initial public offering (IPO) of its DRS unit on the New York Stock Exchange, the aerospace and defence group said, adding it aimed to complete the listing by the end of March.

The state-controlled group will keep the majority of defence electronics division DRS to “maintain a significant exposure in this strategically important market,” its Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said in a statement.

The defence conglomerate said the number of shares and the price range had not yet been determined.

The CEO added that the market debut was “an important step in the strategic development” of the company.

Sources close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday Leonardo is planning to list up to 30% of DRS, which competes with defence electronics companies such as BAE systems, Elbit and Hensoldt.

A new proxy agreement will be entered with the U.S Department of Defense in order for DRS to continue to compete and perform on classified programmes, the statement added.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, and JPMorgan will act as lead book-running managers, and Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley will act as book-running managers for the proposed offering. Mediobanca is acting as financial advisor for Leonardo.

Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Giulia Segreti and David Evans