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“Italy was right decision” interview to Mark S. Newman, DRS CEO

The marriage between Finmeccanica and DRS Technologies, the U.S. military electronics company bought in 2008 for 3.7 billion euros’ is successful, although there is still much to do. Moreover Rome was not built in a day, “says the CEO of DRS, Mark S. Newman, who, after having sold his block of shares to Finmeccanica, making a fortune, is now the CEO of the former family business. DRS is a medium size company for the U.S. market, generating revenues of $ 4 billion and has nearly 10 thousand employees. Drs is crucial to the “American” strategy of Finmeccanica: after Italy and U.K. also the U.S. market will become ‘domestic’,  and Finmeccanica this year will collect orders for 4.3 billion euros.

How the integration of DRS with Finmeccanica is going on?
“Better than expected, but it takes time, perhaps more than we thought, even if positive results are evident. In terms of management team we are more integrated than I thought we’d be 18 months from closing. We should consider that In the world of defense this processes can not be rapid. “

How are the accounts after the merger?
“I believe that Finmeccanica is satisfied of the results: 2008 revenues were 2.6 billion euro, last year 2.85, the operating result grow from 263 to 323 million, net earnings from 73 million to 109 million, we received3 billion of new orders against 2.5 of previous year. And we will continue to improve.”

DRS has grown over the years acquiring nearly fifty companies now that are in the Finmeccanica team will continue to buy?
“Yes. In 2009 we purchased a small electronics company and the market is moving, prices fell down and companies are attractive. Finmeccanica has encouraged us to look around, we focus on small and medium-sized companies. “

The U.S. government has imposed a series of “walls” in Drs to protect sensitive technologies and activities. Can you still work together?
“The bureaucracy and procedures are cumbersome, but we’re getting used to and the management is becoming more efficient. But 2 / 3 of DRS business, distributed among four groups, has no such limits. We adapted quickly. “

Before the merger, Drs realized abroad only 5% of revenues. And now?
“Thank Finmeccanica have access to international markets, we are making joint bids with good results. And then we are the “American face” of Finmeccanica and offer their products to the defense and Homeland Security. With increasing chances of success. “

In 2008, Thales and EADS tried to buy you before Finmeccanica. Do you think you have chosen well by opting for Italy?
“With the CEO of Finmeccanica, Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, we discussed the possibility of cooperating for years and at that time I was not thinking of selling. Then we discussed about merger. And I’m convinced to have done very well to focus on Italy. “

translation from Il Giornale – article by Nativi.

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