Abu Dhabi Acquires Major Share of Piaggio

 - November 22, 2006, 5:57 AM

Mubadala Development, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has acquired 35 percent of Italy’s Piaggio Aero, manufacturer of the Avanti II turboprop twin. “The transaction is founded on a shared belief by the two parties that the business aviation segment will continue to expand significantly over the foreseeable future,” Piaggio officials said. As a result of the transaction–the value of which was not disclosed–the Ferrari and di Mase families now hold a 55-percent share of the company. The remaining 10 percent is held by banks and other shareholders. Piaggio delivered 14 Avantis last year compared with 16 in 2004, but the company claims it holds orders for more than 100. The influx of capital from the Abu Dhabi acquisition should help the company increase its Avanti delivery rates and could logically be expected to provide funding for development of the company’s recently confirmed business jet project.