Leonardo S.p.A. (“Leonardo”) announced that its subsidiary, Leonardo DRS (“DRS”), has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for a proposed initial public offering of a minority stake of its common shares. All common shares to be sold in the offering will be offered by Leonardo US Holding, a Leonardo wholly owned subsidiary in the U.S. The number of common shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Post completion of the offering, Leonardo US Holding will remain the majority shareholder of Leonardo DRS. A new proxy agreement is anticipated to be entered into with the U.S. Department of Defense to permit Leonardo DRS to continue to compete and perform on classified programmes.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo’s CEO, said “Today we are announcing an important step in the strategic development of Leonardo, with the intention to list a minority stake of Leonardo DRS on the New York Stock Exchange. By retaining our majority shareholding we intend to maintain a significant exposure in this strategically important market, whilst continuing to leverage established relationships for all of Leonardo’s businesses”.
In connection with the initial public offering, Leonardo DRS intends to apply to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DRS”. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021, subject to, among other things, completion of the SEC review process and suitable market conditions. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, BofA Securities, and J.P. Morgan will act as lead book-running managers and Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley will act as book-running managers for the proposed offering. Mediobanca is acting as financial advisor for Leonardo S.p.A. The registration statement on Form S-1 has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective and the common shares to be registered may not be sold, prior to the time when the registration statement becomes effective.
Leonardo DRS, formerly DRS Technologies, Inc., is a US-based defense contractor. Previously traded on the NYSE, the company was purchased by the Italian firm Finmeccanica (now Leonardo S.p.A.) in October 2008. A middle-tier defense electronics firm that supplies the U.S. military, DRS (Diagnostic/Retrieval Systems) lists its main product lines as sensing, electronic warfare, cybersecurity, network computing, communications, force protection, and electrical power conversion and propulsion.