Rolls-Royce this afternoon hit back at claims that the sale of one of its Spanish subsidiaries could be blocked, saying it was in “constructive talks” with authorities over the issues.
The FTSE 100 engine maker is in the process of selling off £2bn worth of assets in a bid to fix its finances after the coronavirus pandemic.
ITP Aero, which makes engines, was slated to be at the core of the disposal programme, with Rolls-Royce looking to raise €1.5bn from the sale.
But Bloomberg earlier today reported that the sale could be blocked by Spanish officials if the buyer could not give assurances over ITP Aero’s future.
“The Spanish and Basque governments are important stakeholders and there is an ongoing and constructive dialog with them,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman said in a statement.
The blue chip added that there were multiple interested parties in the sale process, saying that ITP would also continue to be a supplier to Rolls-Royce for many decades to come.
“As a result, it is obviously very important to us that a new owner is able to continue to invest in ITP Aero’s technology, innovation and workforce.”
If the deal is blocked, it would be the second time in a number of months that Rolls-Royce’s plans have been thwarted by a national government eager to protect its own interests.
In March Norway’s government blocked the engineer’s attempts to sell Bergen Engines to Russian firm TMH Group for €150m.
Ministers said that the sale would be of “significant military strategic interest” to Russia.