(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) U.S. companies have made two large acquisitions of Italian firms, underscoring how the euro-zone's ailing southern rim offers a hunting ground for multinationals seeking to pick up local firms in need of strategic funding.
General Electric Co. GE -0.81%bought the core aeronautics unit of engine maker Avio SpA for ?3.3 billion (4.37 billion), while Mohawk Industries Inc. MHK 4.88%paid ?1.2 billion for Marazzi SpA, Europe's largest tile maker, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two deals, finalized within hours of each other, more than quadruple the size of Italy's mergers-and-acquisitions market in the first quarter of 2012, said the newspaper.
Avio has been a longtime supplier of parts to General Electric for its jet engines, including the GE90, above. Both involve multinational enterprises as targets as well as purchasers and reflect a trend towards integrating supply chains and product portfolios.
They also offer financial relief to firms based in Italy, where bank lending has contracted and grown more expensive as a result of the euro-area debt crisis, which has pushed yields on Rome's sovereign bonds higher.