PIAGGIO UP FOR SALE
ANOTHER EFFORT TO SAVE THE AVANTI
Long besieged with financial troubles, Piaggio Aerospace has announced a call for buyers.
The company, which comprises Piaggio Aero Industries and its subsidiary Piaggio Aviation, is currently operating under Italy’s “extraordinary administration” rules. These are designed to protect the assets of large insolvent companies. Prospective buyers will be screened by Extraordinary Commissioner Vincenzo Nicastro, and the sale of the company will be subject to authorization by Italy’s minister of Economic Development.
Piaggio manufactures the 400-knot, 1,500-nautical-mile, P.180 Avanti series of turboprop twins, including the most recent version—the Avanti Evo.
In December 2017 Piaggio went into receivership in order to effect a financial restructuring and honor its commitments. At that time, Piaggio received $342 million in cash from Mubadala Investment Co., a global investment company, to draw down debt as part of a five-year plan to bolster Piaggio’s balance sheet. Despite this and other measures, Avanti sales have continued to dwindle.
“Just over a year since the extraordinary administration started, we have succeeded in creating a respectable order intake, which makes the company attractive for a buyer,” said Nicastro. “We shall rigorously evaluate each of the offers that will reach us with the aim of selling the company in its entirety and finding a buyer who can offer a solid, long-lasting recovery and development plan.”
In addition to building and selling the Avanti, Piaggio Aerospace is also involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of aviation engines. The company says it has $490 million worth of orders in hand, with another equal amount pending.
Nicastro said that those interested in buying should submit their plans and proposals by April 3. The sale of the company is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.