MILAN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Leonardo intends to keep
control of DRS, the Italian defence group said on Thursday, as
it assesses options for the U.S. unit including a listing on the
New York Stock Exchange.
Answering a question from Reuters on the potential flotation
of DRS, the group said any changes at the unit would take into
account the importance of the U.S. market for the group.
"This vision and a possible IPO are not contradictory, as
there are different ways to enhance the value of assets, while
at the same time maintaining their control and benefiting from
the advantages of having a significant footprint in the
country...," Leonardo said in the statement to Reuters.
Speaking at an event earlier on Thursday, Leonardo Chief
Executive Alessandro Profumo said the group wanted to increase
its U.S. presence "in terms of services, products and systems".
The state-controlled group said earlier this month it was
considering various options to create value for its
shareholders, including the possibility of listing DRS, but said
it had not taken any formal decision yet.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that
Leonardo was working with Goldman Sachs on options for DRS,
which the Italian company bought in 2008 in a deal valuing the
U.S. company at $5.2 billion, including $1.27 billion of debt.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Giulia Segreti and