February 26, 2020 / 2:00 PM / 3 months ago

Italy's Piaggio Aerospace launches sale of company

MILAN, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Italy’s Piaggio Aerospace is launching a call for international bidders for the company, which sought protection from creditors in late 2018, the private jet maker said on Wednesday.

Expressions of interest are due by April 3 and the company’s government-special administrator Vincenzo Nicastro will then decide which offer to admit to a second stage of the sale process, the company said in a statement.

The maker of planes and drones employs around 1,000 people mainly at its base in Villanova d’Albenga and in Genoa.

Nicastro said that under special administration Piaggio has managed to build an order book which makes the firm “interesting” to potential buyers.

The order book stands at 450 million euros ($489 million) while additional deals worth a further 450 million are expected “shortly”, the group said.

“We will rigorously assess every offer we get,” Nicastro said.

The procedure was launched after it received a green light from Italy’s industry ministry, which will also have to give its final authorisation to the sale.

Piaggio, then a unit of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala, was placed into special administration after it went bankrupt and lost its sole customer.

$1 = 0.9201 euros Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Jason Neely

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