Ivano Beggio – sole owner of the Aprilia group –is looking for a major new investor to buy a large share in the company but denies rumours the company has called in the receivers.
As reported in MCN earlier this month, Beggio has put the firm’s future under the control of financial advisors Caretti & Associati and bank Interbanca, who are looking for investors or industrial partners to take a share in the firm.
Beggio is believed to be looking for a single large investor rather than several smaller ones, and as such is likely to relinquish at least a proportion of his control over the company. An " industrial partner " is likely to be another bike firm – but at the moment, discussions with several possible investors are still in early stages.
The firm is also undergoing some restructuring of financial arrangements and a concerted effort to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Aprilia has been struggling to find its feet again for the last three years, ever since European scooter sales fell dramatically, particularly in Italy where a new helmet law virtually killed the market. A huge influx of cheap, far-eastern scooters hasn’t helped matters – although recent deals have seen Aprilia linking up with scooter firms in China and India to combat this threat.
Aprilia spokesman Paul Walker strongly refuted current rumours that either Aprilia or subsidiary Moto Guzzi has called in the receivers, saying: " There’s no truth in the rumours whatsoever. "
Moto Guzzi’s production has been reduced over the last few weeks, due to relatively weak demand for the bikes, but Aprilia claims any shortage of Aprilia models in showrooms is down to high demand rather than reduced production. The firm claims its production lines are running flat-out to fill orders.
The source of the latest rumours is a letter sent to dealers last week explaining the intention to restructure Aprilia’s finances and look for a partner to buy into the company.
There are several rumours flying around in Italy as to who might buy a stake in Aprilia. Favourites include BMW – who’s F650 used to be built by the Italian firm – or engine manufacturer Rotax, which is owned by Ski-Doo manufacturer Bombardier and makes the RSV’s V-twin and the Pegaso’s single.