Mercedes-AMG Sells Stake in MV Agusta
Mercedes-AMG, which bought a 25 percent share of the venerable Italian marque MV Agusta in 2014, has sold its stake to ComSar Invest of Russia. As Mercedes’ high-performance division, AMG seemed a good fit for the sporting MV marque, which was seen then as the “perfect two-wheel partner.” As is often the case with Italian partnerships however, the romance was short-lived.
The long-running tale of MV’s continued “recapitalization” now includes Russian money, a topic recently topping international headlines in other arenas of more popular concern. Industry observers may, however, take some confidence in the relatively more stable management at MV as compared to, say, government cabinet positions in Washington, D.C. The other perspective, of course, is that the management stability at MV may well be part of the problem.
“The new shareholding structure of MV Agusta Holding, which will control 100 per cent of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A., will see ComSar Invest as a strong minority shareholder and GC Holding, the investment company of Giovanni Castiglioni, owning the controlling stake,” read a statement from MV Agusta. “In the last 12 months the implemented measures, has brought MV Agusta back in positive cash flow generation,” Castiglioni said, “allowing us to complete the restructuring plan and to consistently support product development and consolidation of our key markets.”
“We will focus our funding to reinforce MV Agusta sales network and service and our knowledge in the technology fields, web and marketing to reach and enhance new markets, strengthen our digital and social presence enlarging MV Agusta’s consumer base,” said ComSar chief Timur Sardarov. "MV Agusta is for us the most iconic brand in the industry; a company that in the last 5 years has invested heavily in new product development creating a extensive, enviable range of motorcycles which results today in a unique asset for a successful future. Our presence in the capital, with a clear long-term vision, as well as in the key management of the company, has the objective, through our core competences and skills to support and strengthen MV Agusta in the coming years consolidating its position of super premium motorcycle producer.”
ComSar Invest is an investment arm of the Black Ocean Group, owned by Sardarov, a billionaire in the Russian oil and gas industries. Black Ocean is also a major investor in the energy industries of eastern Europe. Castiglioni characterizes the ComSar partnership as an important milestone in the MV turnaround plan implemented last year.