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HomeNEWSINTERNATIONALDaimler-MV tie-up 'a done deal'

Daimler-MV tie-up 'a done deal'

An announcement on a deal that would give German firm Daimler a minority stake in MV Agusta is imminent, according to industry sources.

Daimler is said to be set to buy a stake of 20 to 25 per cent to help the company expand outside Italy, where it makes one-fifth of its sales.

Daimler and MV Agusta have declined to comment.

German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Daimler would buy a 25 per cent stake of Agusta via its AMG performance cars unit for around 30 million euros (£23m), with an option to raise its holding in exchange for further investments, citing financial sources in Milan. A deal could be signed as early as next week, it added.

A deal between MV and Daimler would give MV access to world-class R&D facilities and Daimler’s high-end technology. For Daimler, the deal would provide a ready-made two-wheeled arm encompassing more than one brand (MV also owns the Cagiva name) and a range of modern, well-regarded bikes to compete with Ducati and BMW’s two-wheelers.

Volkswagen Group’s Audi bought rival motorbike maker Ducati from Italian private equity investor Investindustrial in 2012, when Daimler denied media reports that it was also interested in buying Ducati.

Family-owned Agusta said last year it was seeking funding for an ambitious expansion plan which included the possibility of listing on the stock market.

In the past 10 years, however, the brand has repeatedly come under financial pressure and gone through several owners that included Harley-Davidson and Malaysian state-owned carmaker Proton. It was bought back in 2010 by Castiglioni shortly before he died, and is now run by his son.

In our August issue, BDN reported that MV had appointed a new manager, Mark Franklin, to spearhead a direct sales operation in the UK as part of a European-wide switch from distributorships to direct sales. That report, including a detailed interview with Franklin, can be read in our digital archive.

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