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Leonardo CEO says Fincantieri JV to favour talks with France - paper

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ROME (Reuters) – A joint venture signed between defence company Leonardo <LDOF.MI> and shipbuilder Fincantieri <FCT.MI> will favour Italy’s talks with France over a military shipbuilding deal, Leonardo CEO told Corriere della Sera on Monday.

Earlier this month the two Italian companies sealed a deal over the development of combat systems, strengthening their cooperation in the naval sector.

Separately, Fincantieri and French state-controlled shipyards Naval Group last week announced a joint venture for warship projects, moving closer to a broader alliance between the two countries on military shipbuilding.

Leonardo, which supplies combat systems and other equipment for military ships, is expected to take part in the alliance, but its role has been repeatedly questioned as its competences overlap with France’s Thales <TCFP.PA>, which owns 35 percent of Naval Group.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Francesca Landini)

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