Update: Nieuwsmotor.nl reports that the deal has been finalized, not between BMW and KTM, but with the Austrian company's CEO, Stefan Pierer instead. That changes everything.
MCN is reporting that a deal that would see KTM purchase Husqvarna from BMW is all but signed. The news comes as quite a surprise, BMW's been wrapped up in refreshing the Swedish dirt bike brand, revamping its off-road range while developing all-new street models based around a modified version of its own 800cc parallel-twin. But why would one boutique dirt bike company want to buy another one?
Update (cont'd): "It's not KTM that is buying Husqvarna, but KTM’s CEO and part-owner Stefan Pierer," explains Nieuwsmotor's Iwan van der Valk. "He bought it with his ‘other’ company Pierer Industries AG. This is not connected to Cross AG, the owner company in which both Pierer and Bajaj hold shares. The next six months will be spent looking how Husqvarna can cooperate with KTM but a new model is already promised to revealed at the 2013 EICMA in november."
"KTM's a great, but small, company," writes veteran journalist Mark Gardiner on his blog. "It's easy to see the impending purchase of Husqvarna for what it is, another move by the big Indian motorcycle company, Bajaj — which already owns a big piece of KTM — to diversify it's portfolio of brands, manufacturing capability, and design talent."
With Bajaj's billions, the acquisition should be a positive thing for Husqvarna. New model development could target the huge markets in Southeast Asia, giving the brand the volume and profit to revisit it's whole street bike thing, maybe with models that aren't just lightly refreshed F800Rs.