Finmeccanica, Ansaldo, Hitachi offices searched

In Hitachi-Ansaldo takeover probe

(ANSA) - Naples, March 16 - Police on Wednesday searched the Rome offices of Finmeccanica aerospace and defence giant early on Wednesday as part of a Milan prosecution probe into Japanese group Hitachi's contentious takeover of its subsidiary, Italian railway signalling company Ansaldo STS. Police also searched the Naples office of Hitachi Italia and the Genoa office of Ansaldo STS.
    In recent days, the Hitachi group closed a complicated takeover of Ansaldo STS, which ANSA sources say is the basis for the Milan prosecutors' probe. Italian market regulator CONSOB and the Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) both became involved in the deal after CONSOB determined that the initial share price set by Hitachi for Ansaldo shares was too low. Only 6.4% of minority shareholders took up Hitachi's mandatory tender offer. Hitachi now has a 46.5% stake in the group after acquiring just over 40% from Italian aerospace and defense giant Finmeccanica last year.
   

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