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Aprilia's future uncertain as bond coupon date draws near (Aprilia, tempi stretti per cercare liquidita)



Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy; Apr 27, 2004







The plight of Aprilia, the troubled Italian producer of motor scooters and motorcycles, was raised with the Italian government yesterday by trade union FIM-CISL, which requested a ministerial roundtable on the problem. Trade union representative Michele Zanocco said yesterday that the company is highly exposed but is not in a desperate position, with 220m euros of debt as compared with a 580m-euro turnover. The group has a well-known brand and operates in a market that is growing by 16 to 17 per cent per year, he said.



Production has stopped at Aprilia's plants because of lack of funds to pay suppliers, and the group is due to repay a 7.5m-euro coupon on a 100m-euro bond on May 3, but risks default due to its poor liquidity. The group has asked a group of seven banks to re-open a 14m-euro credit line which was recently closed, and to provide an additional 30m-euro bridge loan. The banks have given little response so far, but they are expected to hold talks with the company tomorrow. Rival Italian motor scooter group Piaggio has expressed interest in Aprilia after its chief executive, Ivano Beggio, said he would be willing to take on new partners, but Piaggio would like to first see a business plan. Meanwhile, motorcycle maker Ducati has expressed interest in buying Aprilia's motorcycle subsidiary Moto Guzzi, but the timescale of such plans will not resolve the Aprilia's present cash crisis.



Original article by C. Pas.



Abstracted from Il Sole 24 Ore



 

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Ducati to make offer for Moto Guzzi (Ducati punta a Moto Guzzi)



Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy; Apr 23, 2004







Italian motorcycle producer Ducati announced yesterday that it was interested in buying fellow Italian producer Moto Guzzi from its cash-strapped owner, Italian motor scooter and motorcycle group Aprilia. Ducati said that it will make a formal offer in the next few weeks, then proceed with due diligence. Ducati's share price closed at 1.318 euros yesterday, down by 0.23 per cent.



Aprilia, which originally bought Moto Guzzi for 132bn euros, registered sales of 538m euros in 2003, with a break-even result before one-time charges, and net debt of 220m euros on shareholders' equity of 76.5m. The group, which has stopped production due to lack of supplies, has applied to seven Italian creditor banks for a bridge loan, and yesterday appealed to the Italian government to intervene in the matter. Trade union sources say that the group needs about 30m euros in order to resume production.



Original article by Ma. Mass.



Abstracted from Il Sole 24 Ore



 
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