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H-D announces purchase of MV Agusta

Acquisition solidifies foothold in Europe

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 11, 2008
Harley-Davidson has officially announced its purchase of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Motor Company will acquire 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares at a price of approximately US$109 million, which includes paying off the Italian company’s $70 million debt. The deal also includes MV Agusta subsidiary Cagiva, which produces lightweight motorcycles.

“Motorcycles are the heart, soul and passion of Harley-Davidson, Buell and MV Agusta,” says Jim Ziemer, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “Both have great products and close connections with incredibly devoted customers. The MV Agusta and Cagiva brands are well-known and highly regarded in Europe. They are synonymous with beautiful, premium, Italian performance motorcycles.”

MV Agusta president Claudio Castiglioni, who owned 95% of the company, will continue in his role as chairman and will be involved in product development. Castiglioni will also receive a contingent payment in 2016 provided certain financial targets are reached. With the purchase of MV Agusta, bikes like the Massimo Tamburini-designed Brutale 1078RR are now a part of the Harley-Davidson family.

“We take enormous pride in MV Agusta and Cagiva motorcycles,” says Castiglioni. “Our riders seek an uncompromising experience in premium performance motorcycles. And with Harley-Davidson’s deep understanding of the emotional as well as the business side of motorcycling, I have great confidence that our motorcycles will excite customers for generations to come.”

MV Agusta will continue to operate from its headquarters in Varese, Italy. Design Chief Massimo Tamburini will continue to lead the company’s design studio.

Ziemer says that the purchase of MV Agusta will expand Harley-Davidson’s growing reach in Europe. Famous for being a quintessentially American brand, the Motor Company has recorded a double-digit growth rate in Europe in each of the last three years.

“The acquisition of MV Agusta Group will enhance Harley-Davidson, Inc’s position as a global leader in fulfilling customer dreams and providing extraordinary customer experiences,” says Ziemer. “We look forward to a long relationship with the MV Agusta and Cagiva families of customers and employees.”

The acquisition is expected to be complete in a couple of weeks.

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