FINMECCANICA has finally agreed to sell its Siai Marchetti subsidiary to Aermacchi, in a move which will create a single Italian training-aircraft manufacturer. A contract is due to be signed by the end of the year.

There have been previous attempts to reconcile the two rival jet-trainer manufacturers, but none has so far won agreement from both sides. Finmeccanica is playing matchmaker in the latest plan since, as well as owning Siai Marchetti, the giant state-owned holding company also has a 25% in Aermacchi, with the remainder in the hands of the Foresio family.

No price has yet been agreed, but Finmeccanica says that Aermacchi has sufficient resources to fund the acquisition without raising fresh cash. If the deal goes ahead, Aermacchi plans to transfer production of Siai Marchetti's SF-260/TP basic and S-211 jet trainers and 300 staff to its Venegono plant by early 1997.

Aermacchi insists that production must be consolidated at one location to save on production costs. The Siai Marchetti acquisition would allow Aermacchi to offer a range of training aircraft, including the piston-engined SF-260, SF-260TP and M-290 (formerly the Valmet Redigo).

Source: Flight International