Did the Pentagon really not like the project for listing a slice of the American Leonardo Drs? Italics by Michele Arnese and Francis Walsingham
The former Finmeccanica has decided to postpone the IPO of Leonardo Drs. “Despite the interest of investors during the roadshow, within the defined price range, the adverse market conditions did not allow an adequate evaluation of Drs”, explained the group active in aerospace and defense.
The IPO was expected by the end of March and in the last few days the roadshow with potential investors was held, from which it would have emerged a full willingness to subscribe to the entire offer but at a discount in excess of that foreseeable under normal conditions of market: the price could reach a maximum of 23.5% of the capital.
"Drs continues to be a fundamental part of Leonardo's business portfolio and an IPO will be re-evaluated when market conditions are favorable and it will be possible to obtain a successful IPO with an appropriate evaluation of this strategic business", underlined the group chaired by Luciano Carta and led by CEO Alessandro Profumo: Leonardo “continues to fully believe in the prospects of Drs and to support its development within the group”.
From the moment of the announcement of the IPO it had emerged that Leonardo was not only aiming to raise cash – using the resources that would come with the placement for a debt reduction – but to invest in growth and development, even with acquisitions he had explicitly made it clear Profumo in recent days during an interview with the Financial Times .
The stock of the group in Piazza Monte Grappa – after the announcement of the shelved IPO – was affected on the stock market .
But really – as Dagospia wrote today – "the Pentagon does not want members in Drs"?
The role of the Pentagon in DRS is central as the American subsidiary is active in key areas for the US Armed Forces, such as detection, electronic warfare, cyber security, network computing, communications, protection, conversion and electric power propulsion,
But the indiscretion of the Pentagon's no to Leonardo's move does not hold up for 3 reasons.
First: until 2008 – when it was taken over by the then Finmeccanica led by Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini – Drs was listed on the NYSE; therefore the Pentagon had relations with a public company without any grumbling.
Second: assuming that the Pentagon or the US administration had potential doubts about potential interference by unreliable shareholders in the governance of the company, it had all the weapons to establish various stakes, even preferring a placement to certain private equity funds.
Third and last but not least: hadn't an operation like the one that had been engineered by Leonardo's top really been submitted to the Pentagon's scrutiny and okay?
Unlikely, observers aware of the dossier say.
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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/leonardo-drs-e-le-bufale-sul-pentagono/ on Wed, 24 Mar 2021 13:58:29 +0000.