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Piaggio Works Through Two Busy Years

April 7, 2005
Filed under Features

Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera, Italy, Piaggio has participated in multiple industries, from the creation of naval fittings to the construction of locomotives and rolling stock and business in civil and military aeronautics.
Now devoted to personal transportation, the Piaggio Group is controlled by Roberto Colaninno through his Immsi, SpA. The following is a timeline of milestones that have occurred since Colaninno’s arrival.
October 23, 2003 – Immsi, at the conclusion of a process started in the preceding months, acquires management control of Piaggio. The group’s Chairman is Roberto Colaninno, while Rocco Sabelli takes over as CEO..
November 26, 2003 – Gianclaudio Neri is named COO.
March 12, 2004 – Revenues rise to Euro 987.2 million ($1.3 million) with an improvement in operating profit. The 2003 fiscal year ends with a loss of Euro 139.5 million ($180.7 million), partly due to the non-recurring items arising from the acquisition by IMMSI.
April 15, 2004 – Piaggio signs a strategic agreement with Zongshen for the production and marketing of Italian-designed engines, vehicles and parts for the Asian market.
May 4, 2004 – 2004 1Q revenues are up over 14%, operating profit has more than doubled and there is a marked reduction in the net loss.
June 3, 2004 – A nine-year discussion with labor unions ends via a four-year agreement ending in 2008 (formalized July 1).
June 11, 2004 – Matteo Colaninno, Deputy Chairman of Young Entrepreneurs in Italy and Europe, is nominated Deputy Chairman of Piaggio.
July 13, 2004 – Piaggio announces a proposal to purchase Aprilia SpA. This follows a proposal by Ducati Motor Holding, which is given exclusive rights until the end of July.
July 30, 2004 – Ducati’s exclusive rights period comes to an end and Piaggio is allowed to start due diligence operations aimed at establishing the contractual basis for the acquisition of Aprilia.
August 13, 2004 – Piaggio and Aprilia announce that they have signed a preliminary agreement for the merger of the two groups. The financial aspects of the deal envisage a share capital increase in Aprilia, the conversion of bank loans, the restructuring of credit lines and the complete repayment of the Aprilia bond that becomes due at the end of May 2005. The business plan guidelines are to maintain the manufacturing activities and workforce of the Aprilia Group, to start a process to integrate production and technology within the Piaggio Group, and to create value from the Aprilia Group’s brands and trademarks.
September 8, 2004 – Piaggio posts first half revenue of 596.6 million Euro, ($773.3 million) up 11.7% compared to the first half of 2003. The company also records its first half-year net profit (Euro 16.2 million or $21 million) in four years.
December 2004 – Piaggio launches the Quargo, a new four-wheeler light commercial vehicle that adds to the company’s Porter minivan range (of which more than 50,000 units have been sold).
December 28, 2004 – Piaggio signs the final agreement for acquisition of Aprilia. The deal involves Piaggio underwriting a Euro 50 million ($64.8 million) capital increase for Aprilia, opening a credit line for Euro 78 million ($101 million), and taking on Aprilia’s bank debt of Euro 98 million ($127 million). Piaggio also agreed to compensate Aprilia’s former shareholders with Euro 20 million ($25.9 million) in unspecified “financial instruments,” as well as repay Aprilia’s Euro 100 million ($129.6 million) bond maturing in May 2005.
December 28, 2004 – Immsi S.p.A. increases its interest in the Piaggio Group by purchasing a portion of the stakes of other shareholders. Immsi becomes Piaggio’s largest shareholder with control (direct and indirect) of over 40% of equity.
January 11, 2005 – Aprilia’s board of
directors appoints Roberto Colaninno as chairman and Rocco Sabelli as
CEO. Gianclaudio Neri is appointed COO. Ivano Beggio is appointed honorary chairman. The Aprilia Product and Brand management Direction is set up and entrusted to Leo Francesco Mercanti, reporting to the CEO.
March 3, 2005 – Daniele Bandiera is appointed CEO of Moto Guzzi SpA. Piaggio says he joins the Piaggio-Aprilia Group to work in areas of product innovation, design, production processes and supply chain optimization.
March 4, 2005 – Piaggio reported 2004 full-year net profit was Euro 4.1 million. The company said it intends to continue strengthening its position in the industry by consolidating market share in the two-wheeler sector and light transport vehicles sector. Sabelli says plans call for a Euro 120 million ($155.5 million) investment in research and development during 2005.

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