Leonardo-Finmeccanica is moving to reinforce its space business, increasing its stake in space propulsion specialist Avio from around 14% to around 28%. The group says the transaction is in line with the strategic objectives of the Industrial Plan being implemented under CEO Mauro Moretti. Avio is prime contractor for Europe’s Vega launcher and will produce the strap-on boosters for Ariane 6.
The current majority shareholder — private equity investment group Cinven — will exit the Avio shareholding. This transaction will be implemented through a combination between Space2 (a special purpose acquisition company, currently listed on Italian Stock Exchange MIV/SIV segment) and Avio, to be executed through the merger of Avio into Space2 and the subsequent listing of Avio. Avio will receive an additional €66m to support its development plans.
Moretti says the transaction will strengthen Leonardo’s positioning in the space business, consolidating its role in the launchers segment, also for small satellites. This will also allow the development of possible industrial collaboration with the Space Alliance, made up of Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space JVs.
The total price to be paid by Leonardo-Finmeccanica is about €43m.