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Last month we brought you confirmation of Harley-Davidson's impending take-over of the MV Agusta Group in a deal valued at $109 million. The two parties have now signed the deal, leaving only regulatory approval to proceed with the acquisition.

Although MV Agusta built nearly 6,000 motorcycles in 2007, production has slipped dramatically this year as the company was over-run with debt. Part of Harley's take-over involves the payment of some $70 million in MV Agusta's outstanding debts. Harley-Davidson announced that Claudio Castiglioni, the current chairman of the group, which also includes Cagiva motorcycles, as well as chief designer Massimo Tamburini, will remain in their posts and the company will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Varese, Italy. However, Harley-Davidson intents to appoint a new management team for MV Agusta, including a new managing director. With such measures in place, we're sure that the partnership between Milwaukee and Varese can only lead to good things for both companies.

[Source: Harley-Davidson]


Harley-Davidson completes acquisition of MV Agusta

Milwaukee, Wis. (August 8, 2008) - Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) today announced the completion of its purchase of the privately-held Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group. The Company has acquired 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of approximately 70 million euros ($108 million), which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for approximately 45 million euros ($69 million).

"We are thrilled to welcome the MV Agusta family of customers and employees into the Harley-Davidson family of premium motorcycle brands," said Harley-Davidson, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jim Ziemer. "Our primary focus with this acquisition is to grow our presence and enhance our position in Europe as a leader in fulfilling customers' dreams, complementing the Harley-Davidson and Buell motorcycle families," Ziemer said.

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles have grown at a double-digit rate in Europe in each of the last three years, as the Company has increased its strategic focus on global markets.

MV Agusta Group adds two lines of motorcycles to the Harley-Davidson, Inc. family: a line of exclusive, premium, high-performance sport motorcycles sold under the MV Agusta brand; and a line of lightweight sport motorcycles sold under the Cagiva brand. MV Agusta's F4-R motorcycle, powered by a 1078cc in-line four-cylinder liquid cooled engine, is rated at 190 hp.

In conjunction with finalizing the acquisition, Harley-Davidson has named Matt Levatich as Managing Director of MV Agusta Group. Levatich, 43, joined Harley-Davidson in 1994 and has served in a variety of roles, including significant positions in Harley-Davidson Europe sales and marketing, based in England. He headed Harley-Davidson materials management as Vice President for four years and most recently was Vice President and General Manager of Parts and Accessories and Custom Vehicle Operations.

Company Background
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell), Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) and MV Agusta Group (MVAG). Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight motorcycles and offers a line of
motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise and related services. HDMC manufactures five families of motorcycles: Touring, Dyna®,Softail ®, Sportster ® and VRSC™. Buell produces premium sport performance motorcycles and offers a line of motorcycle parts, accessories, and apparel. HDFS provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs primarily to Harley-Davidson and Buell dealers and customers. MVAG produces premium, high-performance sport motorcycles sold under the MV Agusta brand and lightweight sport motorcycles sold under the Cagiva brand.

Forward-Looking Statements
Harley-Davidson, Inc. intends that certain matters discussed in this release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as Harley "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," or "estimates" or words of similar meaning. Similarly, statements that describe future plans, objectives, outlooks, targets, guidance or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those anticipated as of the date of this release. Certain risks and uncertainties are described below. Shareholders, potential investors, and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are only made as of the date of this release, and Harley-Davidson, Inc. disclaims any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

In addition, Harley-Davidson financed a portion of the consideration by borrowing funds and its level of indebtedness increased as a result, which may cause Harley-Davidson to incur additional interest expense and limit Harley-Davidson's ability to obtain additional financing. It could also increase Harley-Davidson's exposure to general adverse economic and industry conditions and adversely impact Harley-Davidson, Inc.'s earnings per share. Furthermore, Harley-Davidson may have challenges successfully integrating or profitably operating the business of MV Agusta Group.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago

      Good thing there is no CAFE standards for bikes. Else Harley would have found it very difficult considering the heavy bikes they make.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The power out-put they get for that mileage per CC doesn't really = power as a 1300 cc Suzuki makes 170+ hp. So drawing a fuel comparison like that would be the same as putting a V8 300c up against a WRX STI. the 300c might get the better mileage even if its heavier but the WRX will clean up performance wise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually they get the same really, since economy is sheerly based on displacement, and the way you ride. And the worst a bike gets is 30MPG, so really there's no shame in that...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good to see MV get some financial support. In the world of motorcycle racing, MV has a very storied history. I think MV bikes will only improve from here. Maybe a Buell and MV collaboration will yield something interesting? Too bad I would never be able to afford one!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "we're sure that the partnership between Milwaukee and Varese can only lead to good things for both companies."

      Yeah, like more tassles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah right, tassles. Harley Gets It. MV does what they do best almost as well as Harley does what they best. Both make rolling man jewelry, and I mean that in a good way.

        This is probably going to be a great partnership.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting to watch, last time Harley was in Italy was Amerrachi (spelling?) during the HarleyAMF days, not their finest years. Of course, these things are much more normal now, the V-Rod showed they could successfuly collaborate with others and make an awesome bike.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Harleys are very efficient. They better be with the anemic output as delivered from the factory. I had a Buell with a 1200cc Vtwin that could breathe...did not get near the mileage my 1200cc Sporty got. I find it amazing there are 190 to 200 HP bikes that get in the 30's. Would like me one of the new V-Maxes!!!!