Italian defense firm ‘poised to close’ $8-9bn Kuwait Eurofighter deal.

Italian defense company Finmeccanica will finalize a multi-billion dollar contract from Kuwait for 28 Euro fighter jets on Tuesday, two sources close to the deal told Reuters on Monday.

Kuwait signed a memorandum of understanding in September to buy the planes, but efforts to close the deal have hit repeated snags and a third source urged continued caution. Finmeccanica declined to comment.

The 20-year contract is expected to be worth between 7 billion and 8 billion euros ($8 billion-$9.1 billion), with Finmeccanica’s share seen at roughly half of the total.The rest is in the hands of a group of companies in the Euro fighter consortium, including plane maker Airbus and Britain’s BAE Systems.

[tbpspa]

Finmeccanica Chief Executive Officer Mauro Moretti said in March that the state-owned conglomerate was in the final stages of discussion with Kuwait over the deal and hoped “to conclude in a short period”.

Kuwait’s parliament recently approved a law allowing the government to pay an advance of some 150 million dinars ($500 million) for the contract.

Delays in the multi-billion-euro contract have put pressure on Finmeccanica shares, but the stock was up 2.45 pct on Monday amid speculation it was ready to be finalized.

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