Italy government wants to protect Piaggio Aerospace jobs: PM office

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a news conference in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

(The Nov. 23 story corrects to show drones still being developed and removes Italian airforce reference in third paragraph, sales still subject to negotiation in fourth paragraph.)

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday that the government’s priority is to protect jobs at Italian aircraft maker Piaggio Aerospace, and will discuss the matter in the coming hours.

Piaggio Aerospace has asked the government to be put under special administration after a 2017 turnaround plan failed to produce the expected results.

The company, a unit of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala, is developing unmanned drones.

In 2017 it started talks to sell its executive P180 turbojet business to PAC Investments, a Chinese state-backed consortium, an operation which raised concerns over the transfer of sensitive technology and potential loss of jobs.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, editing by Davide Barbuscia