Battle for MV Agusta ownership
Harley Davidson may have found a new buyer for MV Agusta, which it bought in 2008 for $109m. After serious loss of earnings Harley Davidson announced at the end of 2009 that it would axe Buell and divest its interests in MV Agusta, and now it seems the exotic brand may well be heading back to Italian ownership.
Officially, Harley Davidson has not committed to anything more than “the company is in discussions with potential buyers regarding its previously announced intention to sell MV Agusta,” but the internet is rife with reports that among the shortlisted options are Claudio Castiglioni and Federico Minoli.
Castiglioni resurrected MV Agusta (as well as Ducati, Husqvarna and Cagiva) in the late ’80s and early ’90s and has been heading the company while under Harley ownership. With the help of Massimo Tamburini, Castiglioni is responsible for two of the most iconic motorcycles – Ducati’s 916 and the MV Agusta F4.
Minoli on the other hand was responsible for turning around Ducati’s fortunes after the brand was acquired from Cagiva in 1996, and headed the company as CEO and eventually president of its operations until 2007 when he resigned.
According to the reports Castiglioni has the backing of Italy’s Intesa San Paolo bank (which would see MV Agusta return to full Italian ownership), while Minoli is backed by a private equity firm. It is reported that the interested parties would have to raise $43 million for their bid to be successful (which would still register a massive loss for Harley).