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HomeNEWSINTERNATIONALBREAKING NEWS: HARLEY TAKEOVER BID RUMOURED

BREAKING NEWS: HARLEY TAKEOVER BID RUMOURED

Harley-Davidson’s share price suddenly jumped by an extraordinary 20% on Friday 1 July after usually well-informed US financial website TheFly.com flagged up an unconfirmed takeover bid fronted by famously aggressive private equity investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

Languishing down at only $42.39 four days earlier following the global Brexit stock rout, Harley stock reached $54.25 at weekly close of play. Nearly a million shares had changed hands during frenetic Wall Street trading, more than double average daily volumes.

Analysts trying to check the veracity of this report were told by a Harley spokesman that the company “will not comment on market rumours and speculation.” KKR also declined to comment.

KKR has looked at a hostile bid for Harley before, during the 2008-2009 financial meltdown when it could have potentially acquired the business at a distress discount. But the private equity giant was unhappy about a huge $5bn-plus debt burden incurred by POS and inventory funding arm Harley-Davidson Financial Services when securitisation markets hit the buffers as part of that crisis.

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