Claudio Castiglioni, Federico Minoli competing to purchase MV Agusta

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MV_Sale.jpgMV Agusta has shortlisted five potential buyers, according to a report
in Il Sol 24 Ore, an Italian newspaper. Included on that list are
current MV Chairman Claudio Castiglioni and former Ducati CEO Federico
Minoli, the other three inclusions are unnamed private equity firms.
Castiglioni’s bid is being backed by Intessa Sanpaolo, a major Italian
banking group, while Minoli is said to have the support of a private
equity fund. >

Harley-Davidson paid $109 million for MV in July, 2008, a figure which included $70 million necessary to erase the company’s debt. Since then, it’s invested in retooling for the Varese factory and launched two all-new models, the 2010 MV Agusta F4 and the 2010 MV Agusta Brutale. On October 15, 2009, beleaguered by financial difficulties caused by its own irresponsible lending practices and failure to adapt to a changing market, Harley announced it would be selling MV and scrapping Buell. Despite clearing MV’s debts, paying for the new models and investing in the new tooling, Harley has been frustrated in its efforts to sell the company. MV turned over €34 million during 2009, reporting a €20 million before-tax loss.

In other news, it will shortly be announced that the 2010 MV Agusta F4 will retail for $18,500 in the US, a very competitive price that makes it $2,499 cheaper than the Aprilia RSV4 Factory and $3,295 cheaper than the Ducati 1198 S.

Source: Il Sol 24 Ore

Thanks for the tip, Will.

  • Goose916

    Claudio Castiglioni has run this marque into the ground at every possible turn. I love his passion but there is no way you can get behind his business practices (ask Ferracci what he’s owed from his lil foray into the AMA). The guy simply doesn’t live by a budget and his bikes don’t win races. Unlike Ducati, MV has no race presence and 37 Championships from 40 years ago hardly counts. Innovation and competition cost money. Hell, even Petronas balked at Castiglioni’s bill.

    Personally, I hope Minoli pulls it together. Ducati has done well since the near bankruptcy days of the late 80′s and mid 90′s. Perhaps he learned something while he was there and could apply it to MV. I’d love to see a serious F4 racer, wouldn’t you?

  • Steve

    Talk about premature ejaculation. If only H-D could have held on to their load of ineptitude, they would have a competitive Italian sport-bike marque offering a great motorcycle at an amazing price (MV), and a unique alternative sport twin (Buell) as well. Oh well; I guess hindsight is always 20/20. I just hope MV ends up in more competent hands. It’s a shame to see it suffer at the hands of fools.

  • sburns2421

    But Harley could still keep it if they wanted. This isn’t hindsight, this is evalutating the situation for what it is and making the best decision. Something Harley execs seem to have trouble doing. Harley doesn;t even make money on actual motorcycles these days, their finance arm made $20M or so in Q1, while bikes and accessories barely eked out $8M profit on $1B in sales.

    MV would be better off without these clowns, I hope Harley loses their tough-guy shirt when they eventually sell the brand. Harley doesn’t deserve them.

    I am in agreement that Minoli is probably the better choice of those two. CC had his chance (a couple of times!) and can’t seem to operate a company in the black. MV has basically moved sideways for a decade, remaining a tiny manufacturer while Ducati has went mainstream and sells multiple times more bikes than MV. If he could do half Ducati has done since the mid-90′s, MV would be in good hands.

  • vic

    two years ago mv agusta was struggling ,workers we’re unpaid,parts we’re delayed and the new models we’re just rumous,
    now mv has just launched 2 very well received models at more competitive prices,orders are piling in,the company is free of debt and there are buyers who are really interested in the company
    and they call castiglioni a fool,i call him a genius

    what i don’t understand is harley’s take on the whole thing.when you buy a struggling company and invest in new products it is expected to take a loss in the first years.yet at the first sign of it hd went and put mv for sale
    btw i like the new f4 except for the pipes and it does look stunning in person it makes the jap bikes look old

  • deckard

    Castiglioni may have run MV into the ground, but he is responsible for resurrecting MV from the dead in the first place. So what does that tell you? Without Castiglioni, there is no modern MV.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk Urban Rider

    Well whatever you think of Castiglioni, MV would make a good purchase, I just hope Private Equity doesn’t get it and someone with a true vision for the brand does!

  • Odie

    I swear, every time I read a story about the Charlie Foxtrot (Cluster F*ck) that is HD, it just makes me mad.
    I cannot conclude anything else other than HD is possessed by some deranged madman, hell bent on destroying the world, starting with motorcycle companies. Not bad companies, but good ones.
    They don’t want to make good bikes, they just want to try and discredit everyone else to make their antiquated technology look good.

  • LASOVAN

    Buona fortuna a Claudio!!!Un vero amante delle moto.

  • Cliff

    The new F4 and Brutale and getting great reviews, the new F4 even being considered as a bike a semi-mortal* could ride on the street! I am not sure who the retailers for this brand are, Aprilia has their own RSV4 that doesn’t need in house competition, and, obviously Ducati wouldn’t want those bikes in their showroom either. That leaves the Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki/Kawasaki guys who want something special in the showroom. But, beyond the Goldwing, how many $20k bikes are their salesman capable of moving out the door? I would guess Europe will figure out who retails these, I am just not sure who in America can sell these bikes, even if the the F4 is one of the most beautiful bikes ever built. Good luck on that.

    *1 litre sport bikes in this day and age can be handled by very few bikers in all due honesty.

  • RT Rider

    I sure hope Harley Davidson finds a buyer for MV soon before they totally ruin the brand. Can you imagine the Harley crowd all dressed up like the Village People riding a F4…..LOL

  • fluffypancakes

    Wow, never read/heard the “village people” comment before.

    From what the MV owners have reported, the HD purchase has helped with their issues (part shortages). Its been a blessing especially when you throw in the fact that they helped to usher in two new models and get the production lines back up and running.

    I was offered some serious deals on left over stock F4′s, but instead took a bite on a new ’09 1125R for $4400. I couldn’t pass up that deal.

    I really hope that HD keeps MV in their portfolio and soon realizes their short sightedness for closing Erik’s doors.

    Probably not…

  • Scott

    don’t sell it off to the China.

    don’t.

  • Allan

    I don’t think another motorcycle company would be all that interested in MV Augusta, as they compete with pretty much every other manufacturer. I can see a monolithic holding firm buying up MV and totally selling out the brand, like what Cerberus did to Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge.

    • sburns2421

      MV only competes with Ducati, Aprilia, and KTM for the small niche market of $20k+ superbikes.

      BMW is a special case as they are trying to compete on price with the Japanese. We will see how that works out. But for the rest, it is the goal of the Euro manufacturers to be either close enough in price that Japanese buyers will move up (1198, RC8, and RSV4-R), or offer bikes that are more “special” than normal Big 4 superbikes to lure in wealthier buyers(1198S/R, RC8R, RSV4 Factory).

      MV seems to be somewhere between these two layers with its $18.5k price. My guess is that they have their hopes on it being seen as the “cheapest ultra” bike rather than the “most expensive base model” bike.

      Ironically probably the best owner for MV from a standpoint of expanding the customer base while not diluting either brand would be Harley-Davidson. They have a big dealer network in the US and do not sell anything that competes with MV (sorry Buell enthusiasts, Buell stole zero new bike sales from MV). Both Harley and MV are high prestige brands and H-D has (had?) the resources to make MV another Ducati with production of say, 30,000 bikes/year. It would have created more traffic in H-D dealerships unlike any Buell ever did. My local H-D dealer told me soon after the purchase that H-D bought MV to expand its dealer base in Europe. WTF? Tiny MV had more dealers in Europe than Harley?

      Ten years from now Harley giving away MV will be seen as another great blunder under Wandell’s watch. Missed opportunity’s for both companies.

      • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com/2006/09/moto-morini-tour_07.html hoyt

        Would you want the current HD dealership network doing the major service work on your MV?

        (generally-speaking, not including the former, talented Buell shops that get it)

      • 4Cammer

        Allan, any Buell enthusiast (as I am) that thinks Buell would steal a MV sale is either lying or delusional. As would be a Honda, Yam, Kaw, or Suzuki fan…

        And for the most part, any potential MV buyer would leave a HD chrome emporium seconds after hearing “sure you would not rather have an Softtail?”. Those clowns (most, not all) could not even make a sales presentaion for a bike that shared engine design with the Sportster, how would they present an up to date design like the F4? Please. Traffic does not mean sales, and I’d love to see those monkeyfists try to work on a Brutale with a Dyna sitting next to it. HD techs are the reason so many Buell Factory Shop Manuals have been sold. :)

        HD has no business in running MV, and I hope a real enthusiast will take over with more than $$ in his/her eyes. The marque deserves better.

  • 4Cammer

    sorry, above comment should have been directed to sburns2421…

  • doug s.

    it would be sweet if any/every potential buyer required h-d to include buell as part of the deal…

    doug s.