Italy exercised its golden power, thus opposing the sale to Safran of the former Microtecnica, a Turin company specializing in aeronautical components and owner of the activities in Italy of the Collins Aerospace group
The Meloni government exercises golden power over the former Microtecnica targeted by the French multinational Safran.
Last July Safran, an aviation and defense multinational controlled by the Paris government, said it wanted to buy the flight control business of Collins Aerospace, owned by the American giant Raytheon , in a cash deal that values the business acquired at an enterprise value of $1.8 billion. The acquisition would affect 3,700 people spread across eight sites in Italy, France, the UK and Asia.
Part of the purchase planned by Safran includes some activities of Collins Aerospace including the branch of the Microtecnica aeronautical components company, founded in 1929 in Turin. The former Microtecnica is today a company of the Utc group directed by Aerospace System (now Collins Aerospace) present in three sites in Italy, two of which in the Turin area (Turin and Luserna) and one in Brugherio which today also boasts the Pentagon among its customers .
The deal, if it goes through, should be completed by the second half of 2024.
But Palazzo Chigi has exercised the ban on transalpine society with the adoption of golden power. That is, that set of special powers which the executive can use to protect the national interest in sectors and assets considered strategic.
A government source cited concerns about jobs and contracts for the Eurofighter program, Reuters reports, when speaking about the golden power intervention.
“Following this decision, Safran remains committed to the transaction and is working with all parties to determine appropriate next steps. Further information will be provided as appropriate,” the French company said in a statement . “The completion of this acquisition also remains subject to obtaining other regulatory approvals and closing conditions,” it added.
All the details.
SAFRAN'S PLANNED ACQUISITION FOR COLLINS AEROSPACE
The agreement between the French Safran, a defense giant controlled by the French state for 30.24%, and Collins Aerospace for the acquisition of the latter's Actuation branch should be concluded by the second half of 2024. The offer is equal to one billion and 800 million dollars.
“The deal, based on a cash offer, would be the largest for Safran since its acquisition of seat maker Zodiac in 2018, and targets a rapidly evolving market for cockpit and aircraft controls,” noted the Financial Times this summer.
WHAT COLLINS AEROSPACE DOES
Collins Aerospace is a subsidiary of US-based Raytheon Technologies, now known as RTX. Raytheon is one of the Pentagon's five major U.S. contractors, with assets that include its defense and missile businesses and engine maker Pratt & Whitney.
The Collins company, with 3,700 employees based primarily in France, Britain and Italy, provides flight actuation and control systems for commercial and military aircraft and helicopters and has customers such as Lockheed Martin, the U.S. manufacturer of F-1 fighter aircraft. 35.
THE STRATEGY OF THE FRENCH COMPANY
“The proposed transaction represents a unique opportunity to develop our position in the critical functions of flight actuation and control,” said Safran CEO Olivier Andries.
Primary flight controls are “very niche and critical” parts, which guide the position of an aircraft and help a plane land, Andriès had specified, adding that Safran wanted to have a strong position in all components that are “mission critical ”.
THE HISTORY OF THE FORMER MICROTECNICA OF TURIN
All of this includes the activities of Microtecnica srl, a company founded in 1929 with headquarters in Turin, owned by Collins Aerospace.
Always recognized for excellence in precision mechanics, since the 1970s it has concentrated its activities on aerospace products, we read on the website of the Piedmont Aerospace District . Following an acquisition, the Luserna San Giovanni site was integrated, now specialized in engine valves and test benches (1973). In 2001 Microtecnica srl included Magnaghi Aerospace (Brugherio, near Milan), a center of excellence for primary flight controls for airplanes and helicopters, in its factories. Microtecnica srl joined the Hamilton Standard group in 1983, after which it became part of Goodrich in 2011 and finally of UTC Aerospace Systems in 2012 (now Collins Aerospace).
MAIN AEROSPACE BUSINESS PRODUCTS
The Turin-based company specializes in the design, qualification, production and after-sales support of actuation systems for primary and secondary flight controls, engine valves, thermal control systems and space equipment.
OFFICES AND EMPLOYEES
The company is made up of approximately 750 employees spread across Turin (450), Luserna San Giovanni (90) and Brugherio (120).
THE CONCERN OF THE UNIONS
But since Safran's announcement this summer, employees have begun raising fears about their futures following the acquisition of Collisins Aerospace, concerns picked up on by unions.
“We are worried not so much about the possible change of ownership – Lino Malerba of Fiom Cgil Torino explained to Corriere Torino – the two companies are very solid and structured. But we know well that many orders and orders we have in the pipeline come from the military sector, mainly from the Pentagon, from US Defense. If a shareholder controlled by another state were to take over, even a friendly one like the French one, we fear that these jobs could return to the United States."
Therefore Fiom Cgil had asked for a meeting to clarify Raytheon's position on the future of Collins Aerospace Italia, so as to know the production and design prospects, as well as the employment implications in the area. “Military and geopolitical strategies fly above our heads, and unfortunately our country is often a spectator, but this does not mean that we will lower our guard on employment and investments in Italy” concluded Malerba.
THE STOP BY THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
Months later, the move from the Italian executive arrived.
On 20 November Safran announced that it had been informed of the Italian Government's decision to exercise the Golden Power, thus opposing the sale of Microtecnica to Safran.
According to the Italian decree, seen by the Financial Times , a government investigation “does not allow us to definitively conclude” that Safran “would give the necessary priority to industrial production lines of interest for national defense”.
According to the decree, Italy also consulted with Germany before the decision, the Ft further notes. The German government expressed concern that the agreement could lead to the interruption of supplies of spare parts and services for the Eurofighter and Tornado fighter programs, necessary "to guarantee NATO's operational needs".
In this regard, we would like to remind you that four countries participate in the Eurofighter programme: Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. It is managed on an industrial level by the Eurofighter Consortium in which Leonardo (with 21%), Airbus Group and Bae Systems participate. However, the Italian defense group has an industrial share of 36% in the program, playing a key role in aeronautical components and on-board electronics, supplying over 60% of the electronic systems on board the aircraft.
As a result, Italy concluded that the agreement “represents an exceptional threat to the essential interests of defense and national security.”
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/ecco-perche-il-governo-meloni-stoppa-la-francese-safran-sullex-microtecnica/ on Mon, 20 Nov 2023 14:48:27 +0000.