The makers of Piaggio scooters announces new business arrangement
Piaggio Holding S.p.A. and Italjet S.p.A. today announce that they have signed a letter of intent which will see Piaggio becoming a shareholder of Italjet as well as jointly developing various technical and manufacturing projects.
The agreement will be signed in the next few weeks following the usual accounting checks and ratification. Under the terms of the agreement, Piaggio will underwrite a 20% increase in the share capital of Italjet; while the latter will issue convertible bonds reserved for Piaggio.
Moreover Piaggio and Italjet will co-operate on engine supplies for scooters and motorcycles, and on the design and manufacture of new vehicles.
Italjet's founder and chairman, Leopoldo Tartarini, states, "This agreement marks a new phase in a longstanding relationship with Europe's leading two-wheel vehicle Group. Our co-operation with Piaggio dates back to 1980 when we adopted an engine created and manufactured at Pontedera for the Pack 50, a model which is exhibited the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recently we’ve been among the first manufacturers to take part in Piaggio's new strategy for the supply of its engines. This co-operation is now exclusive and will allow Italjet to focus on the creation of new vehicles, particularly with regards to design and technology. This continues our tradition for innovation and creativity, and enables us work jointly on a variety projects and share know-how."
Piaggio's C.E.O., Stefano Rosselli Del Turco, said, "The current economic and market situation is forcing Italian and European two-wheel vehicle manufacturers to face the issue of competitiveness in a completely innovative way, by remaining flexible and open to every possible form of co-operation. This increase of our critical mass underlies gives us a strategic advantage over other European manufacturers, and allows us to share top level knowledge with other companies.
“This agreement combines our Group's manufacturing capacity with Italjet's agility and creativity and, rather than being an acquisition, it ensures closer co-operation between two independent companies."
Italjet was founded in 1959 by Leopoldo Tartarini, with headquarters located in San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna),. It has designed more than 150 different moped, scooter and motorcycle models in the course of its history, among them the truly innovative Pack 50 (1980) and the Formula scooter (1994), exhibited in the Guggenheim Foundation's “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibition. Italjet models range from 50cc scooters to 250cc maxiscooters, up to motorcycles like the Enduro, Supermotard and GP Replica.
Since 2000, the Italjet Racing Team has competed in the World Motorcycle Championship circuits in the 125c category and this season lines up with two Italjet GP bikes, ridden by Stefano Perugini (Italy) and Gabor Talmacsi (Hungary).
Piaggio’s headquarters are located in Pontedera (Pisa) and since its foundation in 1884 until December 1999 this private Group was owned by the Piaggio family. Today it is controlled by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, Deutsche Bank's private equity arm.
Chairman of the Piaggio Group is Dante Razzano, while Stefano Rosselli Del Turco is C.E.O. and General Manager.
In 2001, the Piaggio Group acquired 100% control of Derbi-Nacional Motor S.A., a Spanish manufacturer founded in 1922 with headquarters in Martorelles (Barcelona). Furthermore, following an agreement signed on July 2001 with Claudio Castiglioni, Piaggio acquired a whose brands include MV Agusta, Cagiva and Husqvarna.
European leader in the two-wheel market, today Piaggio Group's operations include Piaggio (scooters and mopeds from 50 to 500cc, individual mobility and vans), Gilera (motorcycles and scooters), Vespa (scooters) and Derbi (motorcycles and scooters).
In the 2001 season the Group came back to world motorcycle racing with the prestigious Gilera brand, which won the 125cc World Championship ridden by Manuel Poggiali from San Marino.
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.the-scooters-report.com.
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