Would-be bidders for Piaggio Aerospace will have to submit development or turnaround plans as part of their initial expressions of interest in the Italian airframer, according to documents relating to the planned sale of the business.
Piaggio Aerospace – which comprises two companies, Piaggio Aero Industries and Piaggio Aviation – has been in extraordinary receivership since 2018, when majority shareholder Mubadala pulled out.
Two previous attempts were made to sell the business, both ending in failure, leading the Italian trade ministry to trigger a third sale attempt which kicked off on 9 May.
Documents supporting the sale process stipulate expressions of interest must say which entities or business units the bidders are keen on in, alongside “the recovery/development programmes planned for them”.
Additionally, prospective bidders should detail the corporate structure and chain of command of their operations, plus present three years of financial statements.
Interested parties have until the close of business on 12 June to supply the required information. A decision will then be taken as to which can enter the 30-day due dilligence process.
Up for sale are the business activities of Piaggio Aero performed at five facilities across Italy, consisting of its Villanova d’Albenga headquarters near Genoa, plant and machinery, inventory, certifications, employment contracts for its 825 staff, and intellectual property.
Piaggio Aviation, meanwhile, has just 16 employees, but somewhat crucially holds the type certificates for the P180 Avanti twin-turboprop and out-of-production P166, according to European Union Aviation Safety Agency records.
According to the latest quarterly update for Piaggio Aerospace, covering the period to 31 December 2022, the most recent sale process attracted 11 expressions of interest, with five taken forward to the due diligence phase.
In addition, a binding offer was also received from a consortium – widely reported to be headed by Sweden’s Summa Equity – with which Piaggio’s administrator had been negotiating on an exclusive basis during the first sale attempt.
But despite the interest in the firm, no suitable offers had been received by the 1 September deadline. The quarterly update does not detail the reasons for the failure of the sale process, simply noting that Piaggio’s commissioner passed his findings to the trade ministry and requested “authorisation for the opening of a new phase of the sales procedure to be initiated through a further solicitation of the market.”
The update also reveals further commercial activity during the quarter, including: a €5.4 million ($5.9 million) contract with the Italian ministry of defence for the supply of spare parts for the Rolls-Royce Viper engines powering the air force’s Aermacchi MB-339s; an order from a US-based VIP client for a new Avanti Evo; a €1.2 million contract to refit a French operator’s existing Avanti; and a payment of €6.8 million for the delivery of unspecified engines to the Royal Malaysian Air Force – likely to be refurbished Vipers for its MB-339s.