According to Forbes, Harley-Davidson is in “advanced talks to buy Italy’s MV Agusta.” Of course, being an Italian motorcycle maker, that would be more about paying off MV’s debt than it would actually writing Claudio Castiglioni a check. The negotiations are taking place between Harley and the finance companies and suppliers which hold around €200 million in MV debt, of which the American giant is hoping to write off 35%. Should the deal go through, it would leave Castiglioni with about 15-20% of his company, Harley would own the rest.
While this deal carries obvious negative repercussions for MV Agusta’s
purity, it would bring with it the likelihood of a huge injection of
cash and access to Harley’s vast dealer network. The storied Italian
motorcycle manufacturer was resurrected to much fanfare by Cagiva in
1997, but has since floundered, releasing special edition after special
edition in lieu of actual new model development.