Thursday, June 22, 2006

Out of the Closet

Soon available at the stock exchange of your choice:

MILAN, Italy – Nothing on wheels more personifies Italian style than the Vespa scooter, whose carefree spirit was immortalized by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck circling Rome's piazzas in the 1953 film "Roman Holiday."

The Vespa's familiar curved frame has a found a place in design museums and in the hearts of Europeans, who first hopped aboard simply to get around after World War II and who still cling dearly to its handlebars as they zip through clogged streets.

Now, as the Italian icon turns 60, the company that makes the Vespa is about to go public.

The move is a sign of Piaggio & C SpA's return to health after being rescued from the verge of collapse by Roberto Colaninno, the former Telecom Italia chief executive whose holding company Immsi SpA bought Piaggio in 2003 and brought the company to record sales in two years.

....An investor should be someone "who believes in a product that is a combination of technology, beauty, style, dreams and sport," Colaninno said. "We're not just about transportation, but about a particular concept of transportation, stylish, fun and luxurious."

Just the thing for Max and pgl to motor about Italy if they can't afford the privatized toll roads of Autostrada.

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