Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Finmeccanica's Pansa tipped for helm amid India probe

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 13 - Finmeccanica's board is tipped
to name its general manager, Alessandro Pansa, to take over at
the defence giant after CEO Giuseppe Orsi was arrested Tuesday
in a probe into suspected kickbacks in the 2010 sale of 12
helicopters by its aerospace unit AgustWestland to India.
"The hypothesis to be examined by the board and the
majority shareholder, the Italian Treasury, is to delegate
executive powers to Pansa," sources said ahead of the board
meeting Wednesday evening.
Senior director Admiral Guido Venturoni is likely to get
the post of deputy chairman, they added.
Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli voiced confidence that the
board would "make the right decision on new governance" for the
group, one of Italy's biggest companies.
Outgoing Premier Mario Monti cited the case in saying
political interference in the Italian economy was "depressing".
The former European Union trust-buster voiced the hope he
might be able to change things if he had a continuing part in
government following February 24-25 elections.
Trading in Finmeccanica stock was suspended for an
excessive fall on the Milan bourse as India was reported to have
decided to halt the purchase of the helicopters, two of which
have already been delivered and one of which is on the way.
Shares fell over 5%, prompting bourse authority Consob to
take the company off the board. They ended the day with a 4%
loss.
Earlier in the day, the Indian government was reported to
have cancelled the 'copter contract, although a defence ministry
spokesman said he had "no knowledge" of the move.
But Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony said the contract
would be scrapped if the allegations of corruption being
investigated by Italian prosecutors are proven.
Antony added that Finmeccanica, which is controlled by the
Italian State via a 30.1% stake, risks being put on New Delhi's
company blacklist.
"Finmeccanica could end up on the blacklist and the
contract could be cancelled," he said after announcing he had
ordered Indian investigators to look at the case.
"We will act as soon as we have the results of our
investigation".
Meanwhile the leader of the Northern League, whose
regionalist party was reported to have played a role in Orsi's
appointment under a previous government led by Silvio
Berlusconi, said the League was taking legal action after media
reports linked it to the alleged corruption.
''Today I'll launch new legal action against that band of
professional defamers,'' Roberto Maroni said, citing daily
newspapers La Repubblica and Il Fatto Quotidiano.
Orsi, who was appointed in May 2011, is considered close to
the League, Berlusconi's main ally.
''Orsi is not a League man,'' Maroni said.
''He was appointed (by Berlusconi's last government)
because he is good''.
Among the claims made by the two dailies was that Orsi,
allegedly prompted by then interior minister Maroni and then
League leader Umberto Bossi, moved Finmeccanica facilities from
southern to northern Italy.

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