Italy takes a piece of the Middle East

Piaggio Aero, an Italian aerospace company, has sold a 35% stake to Mubadala Development Company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government.

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By  Mark Foxwell Published  May 15, 2006

Piaggio Aero, an Italian aerospace company, is planning to break into the Middle East market after creating an alliance with the Mubadala Development Company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government. The manufacturer sold a 35% stake of the company to Mubadala for an undisclosed sum, allowing the company to kick-start development of a new light business jet to join the P180 Avanti II twin pus. Mubadala will now have three of the seven board seats of the aerospace firm, including vice-chairman. The development company will also obtain a seat on the company’s executive management committee. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Mubadala’s CEO, said: “We saw the investment as a way forward for both companies. Piaggio Aero has a remarkable reputation and the deal offers the opportunity to explore potential synergies that both Piaggio and Mubadala can leverage.” Since 1998, Piaggio has grown its order book from one plane to its current total of more than 100. Its total order book is valued at an estimated $820 million. The company is one of the world’s oldest existing aircraft manufacturers and produces two types of aircraft. These include the Piaggio P166 reconnaissance aircraft currently in production for the Italian government and the Piaggio P180 executive aircraft, which first flew in 1986. Mubadala’s investment involves the purchase of existing and new shares. Piaggio Aero’s primary shareholders are the Ferrari and di Mase Families.

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