Andy Nativi/GENOA

Turkish state holding company Tushav is to surrender its interest in Piaggio Aero Industries, the Italian general aviation specialist has revealed. Tushav once held 51% of Piaggio, but this was reduced last year when a group of Italian investors bought 16% to take its share to 60%.

The disposal of Tushav's remaining 35% holding follows a legal wrangle over 1999's disposal, which the Turkish company sought initially to reverse. Following talks that began late last year, however, it is close to a complete withdrawal, with the investor group - which includes the Ferrari, Buitoni and Di Mase families - among potential buyers.

The airframer is due to deliver 16 twin-turboprop P.180s this year, mainly to the Italian armed forces, but is struggling to win more orders for its flagship product, with the Turkish move seemingly extinguishing all hope of orders from Ankara. Tushav took control of Piaggio only in November 1998, hauling it out of bankruptcy.

Piaggio reported a turnover of around L140 billion ($71 million) last year, against a forecast L166 billion, and predicts sales of L230 billion this year. On 1 January, it had L150 billion of firm orders, plus L40 billion in agreed contracts, and was finalising deals worth a further L130 billion.

• Finmeccanica is expected to choose a partner for its Alenia Aerospazio subsidiary before the end of March, allowing Italian holding company IRI to proceed with the sale of more than half of its 55% stake in the industrial conglomerate before the end of June. IRI has appointed Mediobanca merchant bank, Merrill Lynch and Schroders as joint co-ordinators for the sale, worth around L12,000. Rome is expected to retain a 30% stake, plus a golden share, with no investor allowed to own more than 3%. Alenia is being courted by BAE Systems and European Aeronautic, Defense and Space.

Source: Flight International