It may sound a bit like a lowball bid from the Price Is Right, but automaker Proton has sold its 57.7 percent stake in Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta for the princely sum of one euro (about $1.18 USD). It isn't that the Malaysian concern was just feeling particularly generous... far from it, in fact. The company's new owner, Italian investment company Gevi SpA has agreed to take on Agusta's "restructured frozen debts," which amounts to some 106.9 million euros (circa $127 million), and has further promised to invest 32.5 million euros ($38.5 million) as operating capital.
As Proton had already completely written off its investment in the bikemaker, its bottom line for 2005 remains unchanged. To say that the carbuilder made a mistake in investing $83 million (70 million euro) in Agusta just one year ago would be to utter an understatement worthy of former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
[Source: The Malaysian Star]