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MILAN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Piaggio Aerospace is now in a position to entice buyers after securing a contract to sell at least 10 aircraft, the temporary administrator of the troubled company said.
Vincenzo Nicastro said in a statement that Piaggio Aerospace's order portfolio was expected to reach its highest-ever value of 838 million euros ($933 million) by the end of this year.
"We are approaching our target to make the company attractive for a new owner," Nicastro said
Piaggio Aerospace said on Thursday it had agreed to sell at least 10 of its Avanti EVO P180 twin turboprop executive transport aircraft to Saudi Arabia's Al Saif Aviation.
The agreement is "first evidence of strong confidence from the private sector, showing that Piaggio Aerospace is making its comeback to the market," Nicastro said.
Last year Piaggio Aerospace - which also produces unmanned drones and supplies engine maintenance services - sought protection from creditors after the company, a unit of Abu Dhabi's sovereign fund Mubadala, went into bankruptcy and lost its sole customer.
The Italian government appointed Nicastro in December last year with a task to revive the company and seek perspective buyers.
Piaggio Aerospace said it expected to sign new contracts by the end of this year, including one worth 262 million euros to sell Italy's Armed Forces nine new Avanti Evos and to refurbish 19 aircrafts, and a 160 million euro contract with Rome to further develop its P1HH unmanned drone and to sell one of those systems to Italy's Air Forces.
($1 = 0.8986 euros)
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Valentina Za and Alexandra Hudson)
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