Italian industrial group Finmeccanica has shortlisted China’s CNR Corporation and Japan’s Hitachi for the sale of its unprofitable railway subsidiaries.
Reuters reported that the company has decided to sell its train-making unit Ansaldo Breda and rail technology subsidiary Ansaldo STS, in order to cut the €4.8bn ($6.1bn) debt and focus on its aerospace and defence businesses.
Finmeccanica CEO Mauro Moretti told reporters that the board will meet on 27 October, but the sale binding offers may not be discussed on that day.
Ansaldo Breda was established in 2001 through a merger between Ansaldo Trasporti and Breda Costruzioni Railway.
The manufacturer has factories in Pistoia, Naples, Reggio Calabria and Palermo in Italy. It manufactures the Sirio trams, metro driverless and high-speed trains such as the Frecciarossa1000.
The rail technology firm Ansaldo STS offers design, implementation and management of systems, services for signalling and supervision of railway and urban traffic.
Headquartered in Genoa, the company employs more than 4,000 people in 28 different countries.
Finmeccanica is working on a restructuring plan under which it would consolidate all its businesses after divesting the rail units.
The six subsidiaries of Finmeccanica operate in segments including helicopters, electronic defence, space, aviation, defence systems and transport.
Two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the restructuring is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Image: Ansaldo Breda’s ETR 1000 (New Frecciarossa) train built for the Italian State Railways. Photo: courtesy of Ansaldobreda.