Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group have signed an agreement to create a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to develop technologies and secure new export contracts.

The companies announced plans for the JV in October 2018.

The Alliance Cooperation Agreement was signed by Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono and Naval Group CEO Hervé Guillou while on board the Italian frigate Federico Martinengo in La Spezia.

In a joint statement, Bono and Guillou said: “We are very satisfied with the results achieved and, above all, we would like to thank our governments which in the last few months have worked side-by-side with us, and continue to do so, with the aim of finalising an agreement that will ensure the protection of sovereign assets while promoting cooperation between the two teams.

“This commitment will allow us to better serve our navies, provide the appropriate support for common export operations and effectively lay the foundations for the consolidation of the European defence industry.”

The agreement sets the stage for a broader alliance between the companies to enhance military naval cooperation.

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“The agreement sets the stage for a broader alliance between the companies to enhance military naval cooperation.”

Under the deal, the JV entity will be headquartered in Genoa. The company will also operate a subsidiary in Ollioules, France.

Through the alliance, Fincantieri and Naval Group intend to improve the competitiveness of the naval industries of Italy and France.

The JV will allow the firms to share best practices and jointly carry out research and development work. The alliance will also target binational programmes and export markets.

Additionally, the companies will look to optimise the procurement process.

Each company will have the right to nominate three members to the JV’s Board of Directors.

Subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals, the incorporation of the JV is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Naval Group and Fincantieri are already collaborating in the project to provide four logistic support ships (LSS) the French Navy. These ships are derived based on the design of the Italian Vulcano LSS.