Safran May Bid for PE-Backed Avio

Safran, a French aerospace company may bid for private equity-backed Italian aero-engine parts maker Avio, Reuters reported Friday, citing the Italian newspaper MF. Avio is backed by private equity firm Cinven and Finmeccanica.

(Reuters) – French aerospace and defence group Safran SA is mulling a possible offer for Italian aero-engine parts maker Avio, a source close to the matter said.

Italian newspaper MF said on Thursday Safran, advised by Mediobanca, was carrying out a so-called antitrust review, a step which comes before a proper due diligence that could start shortly.

“They are going ahead,” the source told Reuters, confirming the newspaper report.

Safran declined to comment.

The source, who asked not to be named, did not confirm the 3.2-3.3 billion euro ($4.3 billion) price tag that MF said Safran was ready to offer.

Mediobanca also declined to comment.

Private equity firm Cinven, which controls Avio along with Finmeccanica which has a 14 percent stake, declined to comment.

Back in September, people familiar with the situation said talks between Cinven and potential buyers for firm Avio were at a standstill over price and rising political concerns about an international buyer. ($1 = 0.7757 euros) (Reporting By Danilo Masoni; additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)