Houlihan Lokey Advises the Business Combination Between Space2 and Avio

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce the business combination between Space2, an Italian special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and Avio, a primary international player active in space propulsion.

On April 10, 2017, Avio's shares started trading on the Milan Stock Exchange – STAR segment.

Avio is an aerospace company operating in the space launcher and spacecraft propulsion sector with over 50 years of experience. In particular, the company is a prime contractor and system integrator of Vega, a light launcher of satellites, as well as a key supplier for Ariane, the largest satellite launcher in Europe. Avio is present in Italy, France, and French Guyana with five production sites and employs about 800 highly qualified people, of which approximately 30% work in the research and development division.

Space2 is an Italian special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on the MIV segment—Electronic Market for Investment Vehicles—organized and managed by the Milan Stock Exchange. Space2 raised approximately EUR 300 million in the capital markets with the purpose of acquiring a target company or business in any form, including a business combination or a merger.

The transaction was executed through the following major steps:

  • Partial and proportional demerger into new SPAC Space3 of EUR 150 million in cash not utilized for the acquisition of Avio
  • Acquisition of the 85.68% stake in Avio held by PE fund Cinven and other shareholders by Space2, Leonardo-Finmeccanica (already a shareholder of Avio), and Avio's management
  • Merger by incorporation of Avio into Space2
Avio's resulting shareholding structure for the business combination is as follows:
  • Former Space2 shareholders: 67.84%
  • Leonardo Finmeccanica: 28.29%
  • Avio's management: 3.87%


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