Italy's Finmeccanica and GKN of the UK have finalised the agreement to merge their Agusta and Westland helicopter manufacturing businesses, with the new entity to be known as Agusta Westland.

The deal to consolidate the two operations, announced at the Farnborough air show, will silence industry rumblings over the delay in the finalisation of the accord.

GKN and Finmeccanica will each own 50% of what they say is "a world-class alliance of equals". The UK company contributes GKN Westland, based in Yeovil, plus its 50% share in the existing EH Industries (EHI) joint venture with Agusta, the GKN aerospace transmissions business, and a 50% interest in Aviation Training International - a joint venture with Boeing to provide training support for the British Army's Apache attack helicopter.

Finmeccanica will contribute Agusta, including its transmissions and structures business, and its own half-share in EHI.

It will also contribute its interests in the NH Industries, the NH90 medium lift helicopter venture, (with Eurocopter and Fokker) and its share of Agusta's joint venture with Bell Helicopter Textron of the USA, which includes the new medium twin AB139 and BA609 civil tiltrotor development.


Agusta Westland had proforma revenues of more than $2.1 billion last year, and a civil and defence orderbook worth $8 billion, with Westland generating an £80 million ($120 million) operating profit and Agusta one of Lira 151 billion ($72 million). Westland had proforma liabilities of £72 million as of 1 January, and Agusta proforma assets of Lira 190 billion.

Kevin Smith, GKN executive director and managing director of GKN Aerospace, becomes the new company's first chairman, and Agusta president and chief executive Amedeo Caporaletti its first chief executive. Westland chief executive Richard Case will be its managing director. The merger should close in the autumn, subject to regulatory approval.

GKN Aerospace remains a separate business outside the new company. A specialist in composites and nacelles, it has expanded rapidly in the last few years, mainly through acquisitions, and now ranks as one of the world's largest non-prime aerostructures businesses.

GKN Aerospace says it is aiming for "continuing development", via organic growth and mergers.

Source: Flight International