Italian defence group Leonardo seeks out cyber security expansion

Italian defence group Leonardo is seeking partnerships with hi-tech companies in the cyber security sector, Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said on Tuesday.

The state-controlled group, Leonardo, already counts the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Britain's defence ministry among its clients for cyber security products and services. It has recently created a new division specialising in the sector.

The division employs about 1,500 people. It has an annual turnover of 400 million euros (353.4 million pounds), representing 3% of Rome-based Leonardo's total revenue.

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"We are looking at small companies that have interesting technologies," Profumo told journalists on the sidelines of a Cyber security event in Rome. He added that it could look at equity investments, as well as cooperation agreements.

In a speech at the annual Cybertech conference, Profumo said that the global market for products and services in the cyber security business is estimated to reach $180 billion by 2021.

Source: Reuters Rome, 24 September 2019

Reporting by Francesca Landini

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