Rome, December 31 - Finmeccanica aerospace and defense giant is set to begin the new year as a single firm rather than as a holding company with many subsidiaries, CEO Mauro Moretti said Thursday. "This represents a fundamental step in Finmeccanica's evolution," said Moretti, who announced he wanted to make Finmeccanica into a single operating company as soon as he became CEO, in May 2014. The new, streamlined Finmeccanica will have four sectors and seven divisions. It will be more competitive, more efficient and better managed, he said. Finmeccanica will "leverage its technological and product primacy in aerospace, defence, and security," said Moretti, under whose leadership the firm's shares have risen 66.5% in the past 12 months to close the year at 12.90 euros a share. Also on Thursday, the board of one of Finmeccanica's soon-to-be former holdings approved a buy offer from a Japanese company. Finmeccanica said in October it had successfully completed pre-sale talks for the sale of its 40% stake in Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda to Japanese multinational Hitachi. AnsaldoBreda is a rail transport engineering company and Ansaldo STS designs and manufactures railway signaling systems. The Ansaldo STS board approved the buy offer from Hitachi, but could not agree on whether to accept the offer of 9.5 euros a share.