Piaggio is laying off nearly 150 Derbi workers in Barcelona after failing to find a partner to acquire the Spanish motorcycle brand’s factory. Derbi, which the Piaggio Group acquired in 2001, has been based in Spain’s Catalan region since it was founded in 1922, but the fate of its Spanish staff was left up in the air after Piaggio announced plans to move production to Italy in 2011.

Workers gained a bit of a reprieve as Piaggio sought buyers for Derbi’s facilities. A deal was thought to be in the works last summer between Piaggio and Swiss investment company Giba that would see the firm invest 100 million euros to produce automobiles at the facility.

Negotiations fell through however and Giba withdrew its interest, leading Piaggio to file a record of employment regulation (ERE), a procedure in Spanish law allowing a company to terminate labor relations.

Piaggio had previously negotiated a settlement for 45 days of severance pay.

Derbi was founded in 1922 as a bicycle shop in Mollet, a village near Barcelona, Simón Rabasa i Singla. After World War II, the company began motorizing its vehicles, and eventually introduced its first motorcycle in 1950, the Derbi 250. Derbi riders have won 9 Grand Prix world titles, mainly in the 125cc, 50cc and 80cc classes.

[Source: Finanzas.com, elPeriodico.cat]