Finmeccanica CEO says restructuring aimed at integration

2,000 layoffs at Selex Es, foreign investment 'welcome'

Finmeccanica CEO says restructuring aimed at integration

Paris, June 17 - The chief executive of Italian defence and transport conglomerate Finmeccanica on Monday announced that its ongoing restructuring plan is aimed at reinforcing company books, integrating group subsidiaries, and preparing the company for eventual mergers with outside investors. "Finmeccanica is becoming a solid and stable company, and all this restructuring is happening without increasing turnover, but only by cost-cutting," said Finmeccanica CEO Alessandro Pansa speaking at the Paris Air Show. The Italian State owns a 30% stake in the troubled defence and transport giant, which reported losses of 786 million euros on revenues of 17.2 billion euros in 2012, and has been dogged by a corruption scandal involving the sale of helicopters to India by subsidiary AgustaWestland. Regarding restructuring at Finmeccanica, Pansa said the group should no longer be a "confederation" of companies, but "a union" that "involves every part and moves forward together as a group". The restructuring plan for electronic data technologies subsidiary Selex Es, alone, calls for 2,000 layoffs. Pansa called the redundancies "the only path for revitalizing and giving a future to the sector" adding that the plan was "the least invasive for the workforce that could be done". "I have nothing to reproach myself for, and I am certain that the unions, who are aware and absolutely competent on how the company is doing, will know to be understanding," Pansa went on. Pansa said that in addition to integrating the companies within the group, Finmeccanica was preparing for eventual merger opportunities from outside. "I believe that (the plan) goes toward reinforcing the group so that it is ready for any merger that could present itself," he said. Pansa said that he himself had "nothing against Italian assets being sold to foreigners," and that to him, foreign investment would be "welcome". Pansa cautioned, however, that foreign entry into a traditional stronghold of Italian industry was likely to meet political resistance. "One cannot complain about the lack of foreign investment if Vajont dams are then raised against foreign capital," quipped Pansa, making reference to Italy's tallest dam, now in disuse due to a disastrous chapter in the history of Italian infrastructure. Engineering and geology miscalculations contributed to a massive landslide in 1963, just four years after completion, displacing enough water to create a 200-metre tall wave that crashed through the Piave valley below, killing about 2,000 people.

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