Leonardo has reiterated that it has no interest in acquiring Piaggo Aerospace despite being urged by an Italian government minister to bid for the troubled airframer.

Piaggio has been in administration since 2018 and the government-appointed officials running the business are now making their third attempt to find new owners for the P180 manufacturer.

P180-c-Arief Akbar_Shutterstock

Source: Arief Akbar/Shutterstock

P180 manufacturer has been in administration since 2018

On 6 March, the Italian trade minister Adolfo Urso granted another extension to the administration – it now expires in May 2025 – and said he was encouraging Leonardo to “evaluate the opportunity” presented by Piaggio.

However, speaking in Rome on 12 March, Leonardo chief executive Roberto Cingolani reiterated that the Italian aerospace giant saw no place for the Ligurian manufacturer in the business and “we didn’t participate in the manifestation of interest”.

“This kind of business [aircraft] is outside our portfolio. We are focusing our activities so we cannot invest in something that is far from our portfolio. So, we have [told] the government that we cannot pursue this strategy.

“But this was very clear – we said ‘we are making a new plan, there’s no room for this technology’.”

Discussions with the government were “very smooth”, says Cingolani. “I just said ‘no, I can’t’.”

Meanwhile, two additional bidders have emerged for Piaggio, Urso told employee representatives during a 9 March meeting at the firm’s plant in Villanova d’Albegna near Genoa.

The firm’s extraordinary commissioners were already evaluating five binding offers that had been submitted by the end-January deadline, but since then two more have been received, he said, according to reports in the Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.