"It's now just a matter of setting a price. I hope a deal can be done by June because it is important for Finmeccanica and Italy," Mr Giovanni Contento, national secretary at Italian metalworkers union UILM told Reuters.

Finmeccanica is reportedly looking to sell rail and energy assets for Euros 1bn this year to retain its investment-grade credit rating following a Euros 2.3bn net loss in 2011. In addition to AnsaldoBreda, these assets include Ansaldo STS and Ansaldo Energia.

Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported in April that Hitachi was waiting until the conclusion of a Finmeccanica shareholders meeting on May 16 to decide whether to proceed with a purchase of stakes in the company's rail units.