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Piaggio Buys Aprilia

After a possible purchase of Aprilia by Ducati fell through, the future of Aprilia was once again up in the air, awaiting an investor with the financial clout to rescue the company.

That investor turned out to be Piaggio, and today it was announced that Piaggio has purchased a 100% stock in Aprilia. Who is Piaggio, you ask? Check out this article to learn more about Europe’s largest two-wheeler group.

The following press release announces the purchase:

Aprilia World Service Inc. confirms agreement with Piaggio Group

8/13/04 Woodstock, GA – Aprilia World Service USA Inc. is pleased to communicate the announcement of the industrial and strategic agreement between Piaggio and Aprilia. In the agreement, Piaggio will obtain a 100% stake in the Aprilia group.

“We are extremely pleased by this progress and are anxious to embrace the new resources that this merging will bring to both Aprilia and Moto Guzzi,” says Aprilia World Service USA General Manager Tom McDonald. “We know that there is exciting new product in the pipeline for both brands and now the product introductions can now be finalized.”

“The combination of Piaggio, the largest European two wheel manufacturer and the Aprilia Group, the second largest, creates a company with considerable resources. We are excited about the synergies created, ranging from product development and production capabilities to business infrastructure, marketing resources, and brand management,” continues McDonald.

“The employees of Aprilia and Moto Guzzi want to thank our customers and dealers who have kept the faith in our brands. We look forward to the growth of this new evolution of the company.”

Below is the note sent from Italy, by Mr. Francesco Nepi, Director Aprilia World Service SpA.

Milan, August 12th, 2004

The Aprilia Spa Board of Directors, assembled today in Milan, examined the state of advancement of the negotiations aiming to ensure the intervention of a qualified Investor to entrust the re-launching of the Aprilia Group. By the suggestion of the president, Mr. Fois, the meeting was chaired by the founder and shareholder of Aprilia Group, Mr. Ivano Beggio. Also invited were the associate advisors of Caretti & Interbanca, who were involved in the negotiations with Ducati and Piaggio.

The preference of an agreement with the Piaggio Group, putting the whole packet of Aprilia shares at their disposal, was decided. The proposal of intervention of the Piaggio Group is oriented towards the increase of the value of the Aprilia Group from an industrial and strategic point of view. Furthermore, it guarantees the suppliers’ integral payment, the satisfaction of the bearers of obligations still less the integral repayment of the new finance supplied last May, together with a supply contract with an important and positive financial effect on the management of the Group.

Mr. Beggio pointed out that the proposal presented by Ducati, while much appreciated, under the industrial and strategic profile, is less adequate to the immediate management demands and the expectations of important stakeholders. The Board of Directors, sharing the evaluations expressed by Mr. Beggio with the support of the Advisors, has approved unanimously the proposal to direct the foreseen agreements with Piaggio & Company. granting the powers to the President Candido Fois and the Managing Director Franco Cattaneo, to which, the management of the Company will be assigned, together with a new member of the Board of Directors to be appointed by Piaggio, till the closing of the operation for the subscription of the relative agreements.

More details about that will become available following the International Motorcycle Show (INTERMOT) in Munich, Sept. 15-19 and will be detailed as soon as possible.