Thursday, April 25, 2024


Russian-owned ComSar Invest has become the major external shareholder of struggling Italian bike brand MV Agusta. MV supremo Giovanni Castiglioni retains an overall controlling interest, in a deal which included acquisition of Daimler subsidiary Mercedes AMG’s 25% stake in the business.

ComSar Invest is part of Black Ocean, a private equity investment group owned by UK-based Timur Sardarov — son of multi-billionaire Russian oil and gas oligarch Rashid Sardarov. Financial terms relating to the transaction were not disclosed.

According to Castiglioni, his recapitalisation tie-up with Sardarov has already satisfied MV Agusta’s aggrieved creditors and the company now has a positive cashflow. The influx of fresh money from Russia will allow it to complete a restructuring plan, and support product development and consolidation of key markets, he added.

In a convoluted statement, Timur Sardarov appeared to suggest that ComSar Invest will have a hands-on role: “Our presence in the capital, with a clear long-term vision as well as in the key management of the company, has the objective, through our core competences and skills, to support and strengthen MV Agusta in the coming years, consolidating its position of super premium motorcycle producer.”

Completion of the deal had presumably been delayed for several months by Daimler’s studied reluctance to relinquish its MV Agusta shareholding. When MV became insolvent last year, Daimler offered to save it through buying a majority holding but was rebuffed by Castiglioni. We await full details of why the Germans eventually decided to walk away. An initial response to BDN was distinctly tight-lipped. Mercedes-AMG head of communications Birgit Zaiser replied: “We kindly ask for your understanding that we cannot comment on the modalities of giving back our shares at this point in time.”



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