CI VIEW: Leonardo Chairman De Gennaro opens door for BAE Systems merger

MILAN (BBN) — Leonardo SpA (BIT:LDO) Chairman Gianni de Gennaro said a merger with listed UK defense giant BAE Systems (LSE:BA) “could be an idea” at a recent company event in Milan.

[Leonardo (BIT:LDO) Chairman Gianni de Gennaro tells Capitol Intelligence Group using CI Glass that merger with BAE Systems (LSE:BA) “could be an idea” during Leonardo Innovation awards with Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo at the Museo Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan. November 20, 2017]

De Gennaro’s openness to pursuing a full merger with BAE Systems marks a strategic departure for the listed Italian defense and civil aviation group and indicates the smaller national defense champion is now seeking a merger with a major European defense contractor.

BAE Systems, under pressure to find a strong European defense partner with the looming exit of the United Kingdom out of the EU on March 2019, has historic and close cultural ties with Rome-based Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica). 

BAE Systems spokesman Rowan Pearman declined to  comment on any possible merger with Leonardo. Under the UK Takeover Panel code, a company cannot pursue a merger for at least six months following a denial of interest.

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CI VIEW: EXIM Bank catalyst for US job growth and reform with Mnuchin/Waters duo UPDATE

WASHINGTON/WHEELING, WV (BBN) (Update on May 18, 2017 to add comments by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) –The end of the long stalemate in Congress over the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has unintentionally served as a catalyst to convince the CEOs of Fortune 100 giants such as General Electric Corp. (NYSE:GE), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), Honeywell International, INC (NYSE:HON), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) of the strategic need to lend their considerable resources to US small-and-medium and minority-and-veteran owned businesses to expand and compete in foreign markets.

[US House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on President Trump naming former NJ Congressman Scott Garrett as EXIM Bank at Tax March at US Capitol, April 15, 2017]

The issue of large corporates helping US small and medium-sized businesses came after EXIM Bank opponents succeeded in blocking the nomination of new EXIM board members and thus limiting the export credit agency to making export guarantees of USD 10m or less.

President Donald Trump unblocked the impasse by nominating former New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett as EXIM President and Chairman and former US House Financial Services Chairman and old-school Republican leader Spencer Bachus from Alabama as an EXIM board member. 

Meanwhile a highly unusual but effective alliance has been quietly forged between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US House Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) to guarantee that EXIM Bank primary focus will be to serve US small-to-medium size exporters, with special attention to minority-and-veteran led businesses. 

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