Polaris To Acquire Majority Stake In Italian Sport Motorcycle Manufacturer MV Agusta?

MV1The rumor started about one month ago when an Italian newspaper published an article mentioning that Polaris was interested to become a majority shareholder in legendary Italian sport bike maker MV Agusta. MV Agusta’s President and CEO Giovanni Castiglioni has just confirmed the news to Cycle News while mentioning at the same time that no agreement has been reached and that no letter of intention has been signed by the parties. For now, Polaris is not commenting. Polaris owns 3 motorcycle brands, Victory, Indian and Brammo in the cruising, touring and electric markets.

mv3Today, MV Augusta s producing sport and sport touring machines with great reputation, in markets where Polaris is not currently present. MV Agusta has been resurrected several times from financial difficulties, sometimes stopping production, being purchased by Cagiva in 1991, then again in difficulties being bought in 2004 by Malaysian car maker Proton who resold it to to GEVI SpA, an Italian . based financing company. In July 2007, MV Agusta Motor SpA sold the Husqvarna motorcycle brand to BMW.

mv2In 2008, Harley-Davidson announced the acquisition on MV Augusta, probably the worst timing to do so just before the US entered in a deep recession. In 2010, the Milwaukee motorcycle maker resold MV Agusta to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l. Then again in 2014, Mecdes-AMG Gmbh acquired a 25% stake in MV Augusta. It was rumored since the beginning of this year that the Italian company was again in debt, was looking for new sources of capital. and was no more delivering spare parts to its dealers.

So, do you think there is good complementarity between Polaris and MV Augusta?

18 Responses to “Polaris To Acquire Majority Stake In Italian Sport Motorcycle Manufacturer MV Agusta?”

  1. 1 May 31st, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Definitely NO !!! Don’t believe any word coming from mister Castiglioni…..ask H-D how many millions they lose in this angry black hole.

  2. 2 David Morris May 31st, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the news Cyril – always enjoy your blog. My understanding of MV Agusta’s situation was that after Harley-Davidson had sold their stake, Chinese motorcycle and auto manufacturer Lifan had acquired a financial interest in MV back in 2012. Do you have any information on this?

  3. 3 Dave Blevins May 31st, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Monkey see, monkey lose.

  4. 4 BobS Jun 1st, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Depends. If there’s a company that can buy a repeatedly bought and sold troubled brand and make a success out of it Polaris can. But i think they do it like this, slash MV’s product line to bear bones and use their European dealer network for Victory and Indian penetration into that market. Maybe even converting the MV’s models left to Victory like they did with Brammo.

  5. 5 coma Jun 1st, 2016 at 7:04 am

    @BobS: will never work. MV’s clientele are a few super rich. Trying to sell MVs as Victorys or vice versa is doomed from the start. This brand is all about Italian road racing heritage. Good luck!

  6. 6 Chief Waldo Jun 1st, 2016 at 8:32 am

    They’d only have to sell it back to Mr. Castiglioni for about ten euros to come out of the deal better than HD did…

  7. 7 Antonio Jun 1st, 2016 at 10:38 am

    MV Augusta is always bad news.

  8. 8 Gym Jun 1st, 2016 at 10:59 am


  9. 9 Francesco Jun 1st, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    MV Agusta est une excellente moto!!rien avoir avec une japonaise ou autre! la qualité italienne n’est a démontrer.


  10. 10 NoH2oh Jun 1st, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Ain’t going to happen. At least I hope not. Look at the business history of this company and the family.

    That being said, much like AMF, if HD did not get involved MV would most likely be dead already. Man, they know how to blow through Euros…..

  11. 11 Cap'n Neal S. Jun 1st, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Not important, but worth noting: CAGIVA got started in MC business when they bought Aermacchi from Harley Davidson in 1978. HD/Aermacchi/Cagiva/Ducati/ MVAgusta all connected…..and now add Polaris to the mix?

  12. 12 mkv Jun 1st, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Like everyone is stating here, if true, hopefully Polaris wont do a PUMP and DUMP like HD did

  13. 13 Jun 1st, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    If anyone can do it it is Polaris
    I just worry about them overextending themselves
    I mean, we all know they have very deep pockets
    & can support during a downturn, but nothing lasts forever !!
    But if there was ever a chance to move Victory
    into a “performance” segment & merge the 2 technologies ???
    What a superbike that might turn out to be

  14. 14 Jun 1st, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Noooo please no! don’t make it so Polaris.

  15. 15 Brum Jun 2nd, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Agree with Dom. A financial black hole that will suck Polaris resources dry. Why don’t AMG increase their stake?

  16. 16 Jun 2nd, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Leaves me wondering exactly what proprietary items and/or patents would make it worth acquiring. I can’t think of anything Polaris needs from them but I look forward to finding out.

  17. 17 Troy Jun 2nd, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Harley isn’t a valid comparison. Harley has failed at anything other than Harleys, and even some Harleys (V-Rod, Street) haven’t been winners. Polaris has indicated in numerous places that they want to go broader in racing, perhaps even World Superbike. MV Agusta could be that entree. If Polaris bought MV, I’d look for MV to have MUCH less operational control. The purchase would allow current Indian/Victory dealers a sportbike brand with a great pedigree, and the European MV Agusta dealers could be good Indian/Victory dealers. I remember a lot of naysayers about the Polaris Indian revival, and that seems to be working OK.

  18. 18 coffeebeans Jun 6th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    If anyone could/would do it, it would be Polaris.

    Also, if they do, Castiglioni can kiss his overpaid job goodbye. Polaris first item of business will be to replace him with someone who can find his financial ass with both hands, and that ain’t Castiglioni.

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