June 14, 2019 / 3:07 PM / 5 days ago

Naval Group "actively" discussing torpedo tie-up with Leonardo

PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - Naval Group and Italy’s Leonardo are pressing ahead with discussions on a potential tie-up involving torpedoes, the head of the French military shipbuilder said, adding the goal was to counter increasing competition in the sector.

“We have been having active discussions on the (so-called) Marlin project for a year,” Naval Group CEO Herve Guillou told reporters on a call, without elaborating on the timing of a final decision.

“On torpedoes we have the same problem as on (military) ships: we are in a very fragmented market ... with more competitors than before so unity means strength,” he added.

Leonardo CEO recently said the state-controlled group could seek partnerships in specific business areas where it is not the market leader.

Guillou made the comments during a call with reporters over the setting up of a 50-50 joint venture on military shipbuilding with Italy’s Fincantieri.

The Naval Group CEO said the JV with Fincantieri would not be extended to Leonardo, but added the JV could work with the Italian defence company as well as France’s Thales. (Reporting by Cyril Atlmeyer; writing by Francesca Landini; editing by David Evans)

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