The Italy-based Finmeccanica and the United Kingdom-based GKN first announced their intention to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries, Agusta and Westland Helicopters, in March 1999. Finmeccanica and GKN announced finalised terms for the merger in July 2000, which included a 50:50 ownership structure, and the payment of top-up fees to GKN to compensate for a disparity in profit levels between Agusta and Westland.
In January 2002, AgustaWestland announced that it would be cutting a total of 950 jobs in the United Kingdom and closing its factory in Weston-super-Mare, which carried out customer support work, as activity was concentrated at its main site in Yeovil.
AgustaWestland opened offices in Philadelphia in 2005, and won a contract to build the new presidential helicopter Marine One over the U.S. manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft, but this program was canceled in 2009. In November 2005 it was announced that AgustaWestland had agreed to acquire Bell Helicopter's 25 per cent interest in the AB139 medium twin helicopter program, and to increase its interest in the BA609 civil tiltrotor aircraft from 25 per cent to 40 per cent.
In June 2008, AgustaWestland and the Russia-based helicopter manufacturer Russian Helicopters agreed to form a new joint venture company to assemble AW139 helicopters in Russia. Construction of a $50 million helicopter assembly facility in the town of Tomilino near Moscow began in June 2010.