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Who gets Apriia?

August 16, 2004
Filed under Features

Piaggio SpA began its due diligence process in late July to acquire Aprilia SpA after officials at the ailing motorcycle manufacture refused an offer and declined to renew exclusive talks with fellow Italian motorcycle producer Ducati Motor Holding SpA.
Ducati shared its plan to reorganize Aprilia on July 30. The offer, declined by Aprilia’s board of directors the next day, included a $48.3 million capital infusion, a guarantee to creditor banks for a $120.6 million bond, and a debt-for-Ducati stock deal with creditor banks. Ducati, in a prepared statement, said it would not change its offer.
Aprilia, which posted a $51.9 million loss on $643.1 million in sales last year, is struggling under approximately $265.4 million of debt.
Ducati and Piaggio both expressed interest in obtaining Aprilia after the motorcycle and scooter group declared it needed financial assistance to continue operations. Ducati obtained exclusive rights to two weeks worth of negotiations with Aprilia, but that ended when Aprilia declined its offer. Piaggio’s offer, Valid until Aug. 14, according to Italian press reports, includes $60.3 million for Aprilia recapitalization, the guarantee of Aprilia’s bonds, the repayment of a $36.2 million bridging loan and $84.5 million in credit.
Roberto Colaninno, controlling shareholder of Piaggio, said he hopes to create a powerful conglomerate of Italian powersports manufacturers to compete with major Japanese companies. A Piaggio merger with Aprilia would create a company with more than $1.87 billion in revenue, he said. psb

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