"The Italians are coming! The Italians are coming!"

Somehow, this alarm just doesn't have the ring of "Redcoats." Nor, in this Fool's opinion, do U.S. investors need to take up muskets to stave off Italian acquirers' recent invasion of Wall Street. They're just not that scary.

Wait, what invasion?
OK, perhaps two acquisitions don't quite constitute an "invasion." First, news broke in May that Italian defense conglomerate Finmeccanica is buying DRS Technologies -- thus slipping into line behind firms like Boeing (NYSE:BA), Textron (NYSE:TXT), and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) in the contest to build the next Humvee.

Second, and more pertinent to today's column, came Monday's announcement that Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW) will sell its Manitowoc Marine Group (MMG) shipbuilding division to Italy's Fincantieri Marine Group.

Now, members of Motley Fool Hidden Gems will most likely know Manitowoc as the firm that beat out first Middleby (NYSE:MIDD), and later Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW), to acquire British oven maker Enodis. But in fact, Manitowoc has three entirely unrelated businesses within its corporate toolkit. The ovens you already know about, but they're still small potatoes compared to Manitowoc's construction crane segment. In the shadow of its two bigger brothers, shipbuilding was the runt of the litter -- and now it's getting shipped to Italy.

From Manitowoc's perspective, unloading its smallest and least profitable business looks like a good idea. Management can certainly find better uses for the $120 million it will get for MMG. (For example, paying down the approximately $2 billion in debt it assumed to acquire Enodis.)

Meanwhile, Fincantieri gets itself a first-rate shipbuilder and, much like Finmeccanica, an "in" into a major Pentagon weapons program: The Littoral Combat Ship that Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is building with help from -- you guessed it -- MMG. (As an extra bonus, Lockheed will be taking a small chunk of MMG equity for itself as part of the deal, tying the two firms even closer together.)

So you say the Italians are coming? I say: "Let 'em come." Everyone's a winner in this deal.

Further Foolishness about stuff that goes "boom":

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Middleby and Boeing. Middleby is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. The Motley Fool is positively militant about disclosure.