Three sources close to the matter revealed that Leonardo, an Italian defense group, has put off its (LDOF.MI.MI) plans to sell its OTO Melara or Wass units due to the crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion.
Leonardo stated in December that it had received two expressions of interest in OTO Melara. This company produces terrestrial and naval cannons. Wass makes torpedoes and is still waiting for binding offers.
Leonardo stated at the time that it would focus on helicopters, aircraft, and electronics for defense. OTO Melara, Wass, and other companies could offer better growth opportunities.
Both the Franco-German consortium KMW+Nexter Defence Systems and Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilder, expressed interest in the units.
Sources previously stated that the Italian government, which owns both Leonardo, and Fincantieri is interested in having a say in the deal.
Rome believes that any decision regarding the future of these units must be made in the context of a larger strategy.
A senior government official stated that Rome would like to be part of a Europe-wide consortium for military equipment terrestrial, where some assets of OTO Melara or Wass could be folded.
According to the official, negotiations to achieve the goals of the government were complicated and difficult because of the current crisis.
One source said that the issue was suspended because of war, but he did not want to be identified as private deliberations are ongoing.
Leonardo declined to comment.