Finmeccanica announced last month that it had shortlisted Hitachi and CNR, China, for the sale, which is a key part of a plan to refocus its business on the aerospace and defence sectors and reduce its €4.8bn debt.

In a statement issued on November 18, Finnmeccanica says Hitachi has been admitted to the final stage of the process to acquire AnsaldoBreda, and it has now started analysis of the offer in order to begin the negotiation process.