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Joint bid for Fiat Avio

Fiat Group's profitable aviation business Fiat Avio could be the subject of a joint bid by Snecma and Finmeccanica, the French and Italian (respectively) aerospace businesses.

This was rumoured to be on the agenda at a Finmeccanica board meeting today. The managers of the two businesses had already expressed an interest in Fiat Avio but have denied there were any formal talks for any joint bid.

Snecma, which has already been pinpointed as a key potential buyer, has also fuelled speculation over a joint bid by stating it would not bid for Avio alone – but with an Italian partner.

According to a Reuters report, Snecma's chief executive Jean-Paul Bechat told a news conference on the firm's 2002 results that he estimated a "reasonable value" for Fiat Avio of between 1.5 and 1.8 billion euros.

Italy's Treasury holds around 30 percent of Finmeccanica while Snecma is fully controlled by the French government.

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