Saturday, July 26, 2008

Officially Official: Harley-Davidson purchases MV Agusta, Cagiva

Click above for high-res gallery of the H-D Night Rod Special

Earlier rumors of an impending purchase by Harley-Davidson of Italian bike maker MV Agusta turned out to be spot-on, as the American Motor Company has officially announced the deal today. The total price for MV, which also owns Cagiva, is reported at about $109 million, with $70 million of that sum required to pay off MV's debt. Claudio Castiglioni, who's family had previously owned the company privately, will remain on board and will serve as Chairman. Castiglioni stands to pocket an undisclosed sum in 2016 if he is able to meet certain stipulated profit goals.

This new deal is an interesting one on a few levels. First, HD already owns a sportbike brand, though its Buell subsidiary plays on a very different level than MV Agusta. The influx of cash from Harley should do wonders for MV's current range of sports and naked bikes, and may allow a greater number of customers access to the storied Italian marque. Consider the fact that Buell was a very small player with a number of quality problems before the Motor Company stepped in and fixed the situation. Additionally, the MV Agusta and Cagiva brands carry quite a strong legacy of high quality machines and will lend instant credibility in Europe and America to Harley's sporting credentials. The full press release is posted after the break.