Chinese King Long looks at Italian move

King Long Italy is reported to be in the process of acquiring struggling Italian manufacturer, BredaMenarinibus, according to local press reports. .

The Chinese will own the majority of the shares, with the previous sole shareholder, Finmeccanica (a third owned by the Italian government), owning the remainder. It is thought that its share will reduce to 15-20%.

As part of the deal King Long is to buy the former Irisbus minibus factory that closed in 2011. It will be merged with BredaMenarinibus under the new owner, with the headquarters in Bologna.

King Long Italy is the Italian branch of China-based coach and bus builder Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry, headed by Stefano del Rosso.

The deal is understood to have no connection with the purchase of UK coach and bus operators, backed by Barbados-based Island Fortitude, which owns the UK dealership Kinglong Direct Ltd.