July 19 2004.

Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. 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."

Source: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.