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July 3, 2006 – Finance Digest

July 3, 2006
Filed under Features

Italian firms open IPOs
Two major Italian companies involved in the powersports industry are floating initial public offerings on the Milan stock exchange.
Piaggio & Co. SpA is selling a 30.9 percent share of the company via an IPO that opened June 19.
Piaggio shareholders are selling 119 million shares for between Euro 2.30 and Euro 3.00 each. The sales would value the company at between Euro 886.8 million to Euro 1.16 billion ($1.12 billion to $1.46 billion).
The IPO closes July 5. Final pricing will take place July 10, and the stock market debut is slated for July 11.
Immsi SpA, the controlling shareholder led by Roberto Colaninno, increased its stake to 49 percent before the offering and intends to raise its share to between 56 percent and 58 percent by the end of the IPO.
In the second instance, Pirelli Tyre, a unit of Pirelli & C SpA, opened its IPO subscription period June 21 by offering 90 million shares at Euro 7.40 to Euro 9.00 each, representing 35 percent of capital and valuing the company at Euro 1.9 billion to Euro 2.311 billion. The subscription period ends June 30.


Ducati gains capital via share purchases
Officials of Ducati Motor Holding SpA say 98.9 percent of the company shares offered to the public on the Italian stock exchange Borsa Italiana S.p.A. in May had been subscribed to.
During the May 8-26 option period, 158,579,839 of 160,343,960 new shares were subscribed to. The shares had a worth of Euro 79,052,049 ($101,222,119).
The 1,764,121 remaining ordinary shares will be offered on the stock market via UniCredit Banca Mobiliare S.p.A. Subscription of the new shares was completed June 12.
The securities are not for sale in the United States.


BMW Sales Dip in 2006
BMW Motorrad sold 43,635 units worldwide during the first five months of the year, down 4.4 percent from the 45,640 units retailed during the same period in 2005.
However, things are looking up for the manufacturer as the year progresses. In May, BMW delivered 12,421 units, up 12.8 percent from 11,012 units in May 2005.


Japan’s Cycle Production Up in April
Japan’s four major motorcycle manufacturers produced 142,431 units in April, up 6,091 units or 4.5 percent compared to the production of 136,340 units in April 2005, according to Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
April’s production signified an increase following five months of downturn.
According to JAMA, Honda produced 43,790 units in April, down from 45,440 units in April 2005; Kawasaki produced 18,068 units, up from 13,592 units; Suzuki produced 43,294 units, up from 39,443 units; and Yamaha produced 37,223 units, down slightly from 37,845 units produced in April 2005.
The four manufacturers exported 120,209 units in April, up 14,996 units or 14.3 percent compared to the export of 105,213 units in April 2005.
Honda exported 24,282 units, down from 29,392 units in April 2005; Kawasaki shipped 14,663 units, up from 13,180 units; Suzuki exported 43,939 units, up from 31,058 units; and Yamaha moved 37,325 units, up from 31,583 units.
Total value of the motorcycles exported in April was $738.21 million, including $610.87 million for vehicles and $127.34 million for parts — an increase of $40.37 million or 5.8 percent compared to a value of $697.84 million recorded for the same month of the previous year.
The four manufacturers shipped 51,846 units to the United States in April, up from 40,652 units shipped in April 2005.


GE Teams with Two suppliers
GE Consumer Finance has extended an agreement with BRP and recently signed to provide revolving and installment consumer financing programs for customers of Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles.
The multi-year contract extension with BRP has GE providing revolving and installment financing to customers at BRP dealerships throughout the United States. GE Consumer Finance provides revolving financing through the BRP Card, as well as installment lending under the BRP Retail Finance Program, for all BRP products, including Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and sport boats, Can-Am ATVs and outboard engines. BRP dealers also maintain access to AdvanceDesk, GE Consumer Finance’s Web-based finance management system.
“The BRP Retail Finance Program has been terrific for our dealers and customers,” said Pierre Arsenault, vice president and general manager for snowmobiles, watercraft, ATVs and sport boats at BRP. “Since we first teamed up in 2001, GE has provided our dealers and customers with great service, innovative financing tools and cutting-edge technology that make financing fast and easy.”
In a second piece of news from GE Consumer Finance, the company’s retail sales finance unit announced a new multi-year agreement with Thunder Mountain Custom Cycles to provide revolving and installment consumer financing programs for the dealers of the Colorado-based company.
The deal allows customers at Thunder Mountain’s 70 dealer locations to take advantage of GE Consumer Finance’s industry-wide FUNancing consumer finance program.


Cobra Powersports Taps GE for Dealer Financing
Cobra Powersports, the U.S. distributor of TGB scooters and ATVs built in Taiwan, has partnered with GE Capital Solutions to provide wholesale financing to authorized TGB dealers.
Kennesaw, Ga.-based Cobra Powersports currently supports 145 authorized dealerships in North America. Cobra Powersports dealers interested in establishing a floor plan account for their TGB inventory are asked to contact their Cobra Powersports representative or GE’s Commercial Distribution Finance representative.


Suzuki, Nissan Expand Relationship
Suzuki Motor Corp. announced it has agreed to expand the scope of its business collaboration with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
In the past, Suzuki has supplied minicars to Nissan while Nissan affiliate Jatco, Ltd. supplied automatic transmissions to Suzuki.
Starting at the end of this year, Nissan will supply a minivan to Suzuki on an OEM basis and Suzuki will supply another Suzuki mini-vehicle to Nissan on an OEM basis. Both products are for the Japanese market.
From 2008, Nissan will supply a compact pickup truck to Suzuki on an OEM basis for sale mainly in North America and Suzuki will provide a new A-segment vehicle for Nissan on an OEM basis for sale mainly in Europe.
The plan also calls for Suzuki and Nissan to collaborate in new emerging markets by sharing their respective manufacturing facilities. This activity will start at Suzuki’s plant in India.

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