Finmeccanica, Italy’s largest defence contractor, has finalised a deal to buy DRS Technologies, a leading supplier to the US military, for $5.28bn. The deal secures Finmeccanica, 34% owned by the Italian state, a major foothold in the lucrative US market and a significant edge on its continental European rivals. The acquisition still needs to pass regulatory hurdles and will test the boundaries of what a continental European defence contractor can buy in the US, analysts said. The FT’s Paul Betts says that Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, head of Finmeccanica, has turned “the Cinderella of the European defence industry into a global player”, outmanoeuvring bigger rivals such as the fiendishly complicated EADS in the process.
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