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New Potential Buyers Admitted To Piaggio Aerospace

Piaggio Aerospace Logo. (Photo: Piaggio Aerospace)

The sale process of Piaggio Aero Industries and Piaggio Aviation, which both operate under the Piaggio Aerospace brand, is ongoing. These companies are currently under extraordinary administration and are among the most important Italian aircraft production companies. However, they have faced financial and corporate challenges for several years due to questionable choices and poor investments.

A bit of history

The company Piaggio was established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio in Sestri Ponente (Genoa), Northern Italy. Initially, their main focus was on manufacturing railway equipment. However, in 1915, they acquired Officine Aeronautiche Francesco Oneto and started producing materials for the aeronautical industry.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Piaggio produced several aircraft that set records. After World War II, Piaggio’s history took a significant turn when they patented a motorcycle in 1946 that would go on to become a symbol of Italian culture and national identity around the world – the Vespa.

The production of motorcycles and aircraft continued until 1964 when the two divisions were split into separate companies. In the 1980s, the design of the P.180 Avanti became very popular, but the company experienced a crisis in the 1990s. After about 20 years, in 2014, Mubadala Development Company, the sovereign fund of the Abu Dhabi government, acquired Piaggio Aero Industries entirely. As a result, it became Piaggio Aerospace.

Piaggio P180 Avanti at Lake Macquarie Airport. Photo: Matt Hall

In August 2016, the company revealed a new strategy to shift its attention toward producing drones for the military market. To achieve this, the company had to reduce its workforce by half. However, in November 2018, the Abu Dhabi fund sought exceptional administration for the company due to disagreements with the Italian government.

The current situation

Two companies operate under the Piaggio Aerospace brand under extraordinary administration – Piaggio Aero Industries and Piaggio Aviation. The Extraordinary Commissioners in charge of the two companies have granted 13 interested players access to the Data Room while keeping their identities confidential.

The Extraordinary Commissioners ensured that companies or consortia with a strong industrial background and a declared interest in acquiring the company were present. These entities are primarily from Italy or other parts of Europe. The commissioners aim to suggest a candidate’s name to the Italian Ministry of Business and Made in Italy in the fall to finalize a binding agreement by year-end.

Potential buyers will have access to plant visits and the Data Room until the end of August. This will provide them with valuable information to evaluate the value and potential of the companies. At this point, binding offers will be requested. These offers must ensure a long-term strategy that preserves the company’s brand, skills, and employment, as established by the extraordinary commissioners.

Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
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Author

  • Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo

    Vincenzo graduated in 2019 in Mechanical Engineering with an aeronautical curriculum, focusing his thesis on Human Factors in aircraft maintenance. In 2022 he pursued his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy. He combines his journalistic activities with his work as a Reliability Engineer at Zetalab.

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