Chief executive Giuseppe Bono appears to be leaving Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri with one last addition to the orderbook.

The Italian daily Il Secolo XIX reported that the group is in talks with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) of the US for six new ships.

The contract will be worth $4bn, according to one source familiar with the matter.

The report said Bono, 79, met NCL boss Frank del Rio and his wife on the same day that his departure from the shipbuilder was confirmed in April after 20 years.

Bono is expected to leave on 16 May.

Fincantieri declined to comment.

The yard group is already slated to deliver 29 cruise ships through to 2026 and one in the years after that. Six will be delivered from its Italian yards this year and one in the luxury niche segment from Norway’s Vard.

It also has orders for 26 offshore and specialised vessels for delivery through to 2024.

Fincantieri has built only four of NCL’s 28 operational cruise ships, the last in 2020.

But the Miami owner has nine new vessels on order there for handover this year and each year after that up to 2027.

No new contract

Six of these are for its own brand, two for Oceanic Cruises and one for Regent Seven Seas.

Bono has seen his contract renewed repeatedly during the last two decades, but has said his mandate is not being renewed by the Italian government due to his age.

Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which has 71.3% of the group, has proposed Pierroberto Folgiero as the new CEO.