Rheinmetall Group acquired the defense operations of Italian armament company Società Esplosivi Industriali (SEI). The takeover is part of a strategy to "widen its lead in the European defense technology industry", said Rheinmetall.
The acquisition is subject to final approval in Italy, and both firms agreed not to reveal the value of the deal.
By taking over SEI's military activities, Rheinmetall hopes to expand its product range and increase its footprint in Europe. The takeover was agreed between Rheinmetall and EPC Group of France, and covers all defense business operations and assets of its SEI subsidiary. Rheinmetall will continue to develop and manufacture ammunition at SEI's production facilities in Italy. The newly created subsidiary will operate as RWM Italia Munitions.
SEI is a manufacturer of aircraft weapons and underwater weapons. Rheinmetall has declared its interest in expanding its activities in both these fields. SEI makes Mk 80 series aircraft bombs, and military and commercial explosives at the Domusnovas plant in Sardinia. The site includes test facilities and a firing range. Its headquarters is in Ghendi.
In 2009, SEI maintained a workforce of 115, and posted sales of about 20 million euros. The firm plows more than 10 percent of company revenues into research and development.
Rheinmetall's 10,000 personnel generated sales worth around 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in 2009.
RWM Italia Munitions will come under the umbrella of Rheinmetall's Weapon and Munitions division. The segment's product range includes large- and medium-caliber weapons, and ammunition for land, sea and air applications. In addition, the division develops nonlethal weapons, camp protection systems, and facilities for recycling and disposing of ammunition.