GKN may sell its share of AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica, which could raise up to £800 million ($1.41 billion) for the company. GKN chairman David Lees told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on 20 May: "Negotiations are in progress concerning the possible sale of GKN's 50% shareholding in AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica, the other 50% shareholder in the business." Sources expect the deal to close by the end of June.

Finmeccanica could raise the money by selling part of its stake in semiconductor manufacturer ST Microelectronics. The company announced in March that it was preparing to sell up to 8.5% of STM - half its total holding - which would raise €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion). Selling off its Ansaldo transport and energy businesses could also raise cash.

GKN's business is divided into automotive and aerospace divisions. Automotive represented two-thirds of its sales last year - £3.04 billion out of £4.59 billion - and disposing of Westland would increase its share to 82%. The remaining aerospace segment would consist of GKN's £559 million Aerospace Services aerostructures business.

Another acquisition is likely for GKN, analysts at Goldman Sachs suggest. According to some reports, the company has already walked away from one possible takeover - of Boeing's aerostructures plants in Kansas and Oklahoma - because the $3 billion asking price was too high.


Source: Flight International