Finmeccanica, Thales, DCNS may merge some activities: report

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Italy's Finmeccanica and the French defence groups DCNS and Thales are negotiating a merger of their torpedo and sonar activities, the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Tuesday.

The three companies are thinking in terms of an operation in which they would pool assets to form two stand-alone firms, the report said.

Finmeccanica would control 51 percent of the torpedo company, which would have a turnover of about 300 million euros (390 million dollars), with the remaining part to be owned by DCNS and Thales, Il Sole said.

The sonar company would have a turnover of 200 million euros and be controlled by Thales with 51 percent, while Finmeccanica would own the remaining part, the report said.

A final agreement could be reached in the coming months, it added.

Finmeccanica declined to comment on the report.

DCNS is controlled by the French state, which owns 75 percent, with Thales owning the remaining 25 percent. The Italian government owns 32 percent of Finmeccanica.

The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding to merge their undersea defence activities in 2007, but the operation did not materialise.

© 2010 AFP

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