ROME — Italy has approved French defense company Safran’s purchase of Italian firm Microtecnica after promising to safeguard Italy’s national interests, Safran announced.

The Italian government blocked the sale in November, with officials warning Safran’s management could endanger vital work Microtecnica performs on the Eurofighter jet, which is built by Italy, Germany, Spain and the U.K.

Explaining the Italian government’s change of heart, Safran said it had made “a number of commitments, which are compatible with the targeted objectives of this acquisition, and which address the concerns expressed in the initial Italian decree of Nov. 16, 2023 and provide adequate safeguards of the Italian national interests.”

In a statement on Thursday, the firm said it had been “informed by the Italian government of its decision ultimately to approve the sale to Safran of Microtecnica.”

Owned by U.S. firm Collins Aerospace, which is in turn owned by the large American defense contractor RTX, Microtecnica was part of Collins’ flight controls business, which Safran was to buy in a $1.8 billion deal announced in July.

Italy blocked the deal by using its so-called Golden Power legislation, which grants it the right to halt purchases of strategic firms by overseas buyers. It is often used to counter Chinese acquisitions in Italy.

Reuters reported at the time that Germany had shared with Italy its concerns about supplies of components to the Eurofighter.

In January, RTX and Safran said they were preparing to challenge the veto in court, but noted they were ready to offer more guarantees of protecting Italy’s national interests to make the deal go ahead.

“We look forward to the opportunity to resolve the matter through a constructive dialogue with the Italian Government outside of the appeal process,” an RTX spokesman said at the time.

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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