Leonardo Finmeccanica share in Avio rises from 14% to 28%

Europe's first publicly quoted space launch company

(ANSA) - Milan, April 18 - Following the flotation on the Milan stock exchange of Italian rocket maker Avio, the share of capital held by Leonardo Finmeccanica rose Tuesday from 14% to about 28% of the company. Taking part in the transaction are about 40 Avio executives, who will hold about 4% of the total shares, while Cinven funds are leaving it entirely. "We are a technological publicly-quoted company with over 100 years of history, the first in the world specialized in the production of launch rockets that take satellites into space and make our life on earth easier and safer," Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo said. "Our flotation on the stock exchange will enable us to speed up our investment for the growth and development of our products. Since 2015 we have been working on the new launch rocket Vega C and motors for the first stage of Ariane 6, which will be launched in 2019 and 2020. Since the beginning of the year, we have begun the development of Vega E, which will be launched in 2025". Avio is one of the main international companies working in the field of space propulsion systems. It is headquartered in Colleferro (Rome) and maintains a presence in Italy, France and French Guiana with five plants employing about 760 people. Its main clients include the European Space Agency (ESA). In September 2016, Avio launched four satellites into space for Google Maps.