The Hitachi and Finmeccanica boards announced the signing of binding agreements for the Japanese group to buy Napoli-based rolling stock manufacturer AnsaldoBreda and Finmeccanica’s 40% stake in Genova-based Ansaldo STS.
The transactions are expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approval. According to authoritative sources, Hitachi will pay approximately €20-€30 million as capital to acquire the assets of Breda, the value of which is largely covered by debts and liabilities. Its offer for Ansaldo STS will be more generous, around €9.2 euro per share (compared to yesterday’s price of EUR €8.835, -0.17%): this would correspond to €1.84 billion for 100% of STS (of which approximately €730 million for Finmeccanica’s stake).
The company, said Hitachi, had been selected as “The best industrial partner to ensure a successful long-term repositioning’ of its transport activities”.
“The sale of the rail transport business is a key step in the execution of our Industrial Plan, aimed at focusing and strengthening the group in the core business: hi-tech Aerospace, Defence & Security”, said CEO & General Manager Mauro Moretti. “Hitachi has clearly recognised the know-how and expertise which would be contributed by both AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS within the new group and I am sure both companies will play a key role in the future development of the Hitachi Rail business worldwide, with their centres of excellence in Transportation Systems and Mass Transit”.
The Japanese have been able to count on the support of Moretti, who knows the rail sector very well after having led state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato until the end of May 2014. Moretti believes Hitachi to be a more solid buyer and therefore did not accept Chinese group Insigma’s request to enter into final talks. Insigma had submitted a binding offer valid until December 15 and a business plan outlining development and investment, focusing on growth in one of the most promising markets, China. The group Insigma, backed by Bank of China and the Chinese government, had offered about €1.84 billion for Breda and all of Ansaldo Sts.
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