Is Hero Moto Corp trying to take over Erik Buell Racing?

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On Monday, India’s The Economic Times reported that, in addition to inking a technology and design partnership deal with Erik Buell Racing, and sponsoring EBR’s race team, the gigantic Indian bike manufacturer would also acquire partial ownership of Erik’s tiny startup. That didn’t jive with what Erik told us or what was officially announced, so we dug deeper.

“Hero Moto Corp...will buy a minority stake in US motorcycle firm Erik Buell Racing for an undisclosed amount,” reported The Economic Times. “The move is aimed at securing uninterrupted technological support from the US racing motorcycle maker once associated with iconic brand Harley-Davidson.”

But, last week, Erik told us, “No ownership between the companies. Just helping each other in ways that are good for both of us.”

Today, the visionary motorcycle designer confirmed that, saying, “What I sent you is a correct statement of the current relationship. I do not speculate.”

It looks like The Economic Times selectively pulled quotes from a statement made by Hero CEO Pawan Munjal. He specifically denies any equity deals have been made, but doesn’t rule out their possibility in the future.

“We have a flexible and free-flowing relationship, which is based on friendship, shared values and a common vision,” states Munjal. “This is going to be a long-term association, and as we go forward, we may look at further strengthening this relationship through joint collaborations in several other areas, and at that time, one may look at the option of equity participation. However, this is in the realm of the future. Currently, all our time and efforts are concentrated on our joint product development strategy and the forthcoming racing season."

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