Piaggio & C. SpA ended 2004 by finalizing its total acquisition of Aprilia SpA, creating a group with annual sales of more than EURO1.5 billion ($1.9 billion).
The contract, signed December 28 with Aprilia shareholders Ivano Beggio and his family, Holdipar s.r.l., European Moto Holding s.a.r.l. and Scarabeo s.s., involves Piaggio underwriting a EUR50 million capital increase for Aprilia, opening a credit line for EUR78 million, and taking on Aprilia's bank debt of EUR98 million. Piaggio also agreed to compensate Aprilia's former shareholders with EUR20 million in unspecified "financial instruments," as well as repay Aprilia's EUR100 million bond maturing in May 2005.
The new group becomes the world's fourth largest producer of two-wheelers. It includes brand names Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi. European Union regulators approved the deal in November, once Piaggio agreed to offer its 50cc four-stroke engine to other manufacturers at fair market price.
"The new group has one of the most complete and diversified product ranges on the market, from 50cc scooters to 1000cc motorbikes, with a 24% market share in Europe and 35% in Italy, eight industrial plants worldwide, six research and development centers, and 6,000 employees,” Piaggio Chief Executive Officer Rocco Sabelli said in a prepared statement. “We wish to maintain our ability to compete: the inclusion of the Aprilia Group in Piaggio will make our presence in key markets more incisive and will allow us to further increase and develop our investments in technological and productive innovation."
In a related matter, Immsi SpA revealed that it had become the leading shareholder of the Piaggio group's holding company, the Dutch-registered Piaggio Netherland BV, by raising its direct and indirect stake to 40% from a previous 31.25%. Immsi is an investment vehicle controlled by Piaggio Chairman Roberto Colaninno.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business