FiatAvio looks set to fall into foreign hands, moving managing director Saverio Strati to call on the Italian government to act.

Strati told the defence committee of the lower house of the Italian parliament that Italy had a strategic interest in retaining control, as FiatAvio's main customer was the Italian military.

Although FiatAvio's fate has not yet been decided, a sale seems likely. Italy's Finmeccanica and Rolls-Royce of the UK have denied interest. France's Snecma has confirmed it is looking at the company and is waiting for Italian government approval, but president Jean-Paul B‚chat will not say whether his group has put in an offer.

US-based investment funds, including the Carlyle Group, are also said to be interested, but no Italian suitors have yet emerged.

Source: Flight International