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from Ducati PR:

Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH, Borsa Italiana S.p.A: DMH), a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, has presented today an offer for the acquisition of the majority share of the Aprilia Group.

This offer intends to solve the recent financial crisis of Aprilia in order to re-establish its role as a leader, built up over years of hard work and successes in the two-wheel market.

This operation is based on the wish to promote the Italian two-wheel industry consolidation. This new group, first of its kind in Europe, would be able to compete successfully at a global level, thanks to the strengths and peculiarities of each single brand, scale economies and the technological excellence resulting from the combination of each company’s competencies.

“Ours is a long-term industrial project,” said Federico Minoli, Ducati Chairman and CEO. “We are not financial investors. We are moved by passion and we are dedicated to the success of Italian bikes worldwide. We are conscious that this success depends on respecting and enhancing the different identities of each single brand, each one directly linked with its products, its history and its territory, where manufacturing sites have to be kept. Technological competencies, the real asset of each company, could be better used in an integrated and coherent development plan that avoids duplication, and that concentrates its investment efforts on technology and innovation. All together these companies will have a great market penetration force, in particular abroad, realizing in the meantime important synergies in sales structures and distribution channels, as well as in purchasing and administrative structures. Our Ducati turn-around experience leaves us confident of the possibility of success and conscious of the responsabilities we are assuming versus an industry sector that has always proudly brought the Italian geniality and passion for the two-wheel industry to the world.”
 

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Latest from Duc:
Bologna July 17th 2004, Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (NYSE: DMH, Borsa Italiana S.p.A.: DMH), the high performance motorcycle manufacturer has reached an agreement today with Aprilia shareholders, for the exclusive negotiation in the acquisition of the group.

The agreement foresees a due diligence period on certain legal, fiscal and accounting matters.

The decision is a clear step forward in the negotiation process, which is essential for the future of Aprilia and the Italian motorcycle industry. This agreement marks the beginning of a new and important negotiation phase with all the parties involved in the Group restructuring in order to ensure the continuity of the Aprilia business.

“We are fully satisfied with the progress of the negotiation,” comments Federico Minoli, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. “We are close to the end of a complex process. We have a sound industrial plan and we are confident of the support that we will receive from banks, suppliers, other creditors, management and unions. Since 1996, with the help of all the constituents we have transformed Ducati from a struggling company to a worldwide success. Today Ducati is traded in the stock exchanges of Milan and New York, it is healthy, financially secure and ready to invest financial resources and knowledge to recreate the Ducati success story with Aprilia. Our plan is simple: maintain the identity of each brand which is defined by their rich history and territory, while capitalizing on the synergies of critical mass in distribution, especially in foreign markets, research, development and purchasing.”

Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features, innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. The Company produces motorcycles in five market segments which vary in their technical and design features and intended customers: Superbike, Supersport; Monster, Sport Touring and Multistrada. The Company’s motorcycles are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide, with a primary focus in the Western European, Japan and North American markets. Ducati has won twelve of the last fourteen World Superbike Championship titles and more individual victories than the competition put together. For more information about the Company, please visit our web site at http://www.ducati.com.
 

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yup. that is what i heard on the radio ealier this or last week. It was actually the share holders that turned it down , i think. (im not sure which share holders tho)
 
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