• Mar 16, 2010
We're not sure if this report should be filed in the Good News folder or the Bad. Harley-Davidson shares jumped an impressive six percent today to their highest level in more than four months. Why? Apparently, the increased activity was spurred by speculation of a possible takeover by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
We're anything but experts on the inner workings of Wall Street, but it seems that the hot action is on short-term March and April call options, which indicates that many traders are betting on a leveraged buyout of the historic American motorcycle manufacturer.

Naturally, neither KKR nor Harley-Davidson is commenting on the matter, though neither party has declined the rumors outright. We'll keep our virtual ears to the ground, and if we hear anything more, you'll all be the first to know.

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 94 Comments
      paul
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL all these fools ! like harley was still al owed by willie G? ye sthey kept the same ,didnt change as much for years! but why did the jap crap steal the look? didnt there >inovation" make them sell? so u build bike swith new inovations" but yet copy harley? LOL! yup remmber who brought u Toyota! LOL! ride what u like! dont care!
      • 4 Years Ago
      KKR is not buying the bikes, they're buying the brand in my opinion.

      If successful, you'll soon see franchised Harley cafe's, HD jeans, a hotel in Vegas, and whatever pseudo macho connection the marketers can dream up to exploit whatever bad ass brand awareness that H-D currently posseses.

      The bikes might be an afterthought, the riders probably will be. The folks over at Polaris (Victory) will be dancing in their offices if this goes through.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought we already did?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why anybody would want to take over a company that refuses to change or innovate or compete with everyone else is beyond me.
        Woodie
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course as the new generation of jap bike riders takes to the roads on the disposable riceburners the older riders fade away. Too bad history teachers never speak to students about the torture of Allied prisoners of war during WW2. The treatment was terrible. Almost 40% of Allied prisoners died in captivity. Now they sell more cars and bikes than the US makers do. Shame.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with Gruv on this one - HD produces 50 years old bikes and lives on out from tradition.

        The only thing worth is their brand name.

        If you want a good bike, HD style, buy Japanese.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Gruv

        I agree.
        • 4 Years Ago
        When congress pulls their head out of their AZZ and re-institutes the R&D tax bill/credit and makes it permanent so only companies in the USA can utilize this to invent, show the prototype models to customers and have them provide feedback then a company might be able to provide what the customer wants....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they are after HD's sticker technology.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A.) Harley Davidson does not need to "change". B.) Does not need to innovate. C.) And othing compares with a HARLEY! Case Closed
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bored with Harley anyway. (Sold my third last summer.)
      MallardPhillmore
      • 4 Years Ago
      THIS WOULD BE A BAD MOVE BY KKR. AND TERRIBLE NEWS FOR HARLEY AS A COMPANY AND FOR HARLEY OWNERS.

      THEY WOULD END UP CLOSING IT DOWN AFTER SELLING OFF THE ASSETS, BUT IT WOULD NO LONGER BE A QUALITY PRODUCT WHETHER THEY TRIED TO RUN IT OR SELL IT.

      HARLEY MADE A BIG COMEBACK FROM TWENTY YEARS AGO BUT REMAINED AN AMERICAN COMPANY. THEY BEAT BACK INDIAN AND SEVERAL OTHERS BUT I, FOR ONE, WOULD NEVER BUY ANOTHER ONE (EXCEPT USED) IF THEY DID THIS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well you can say what you want about Harley but one fact remains about their product and that is they hold their resale value over the years. I had two New Harley's and I made money on both. I made one thousand profit after a three year trade in on one of them and I made two thousand profit on a sale on the other one, which was three years old. Can you do this with a Jap Bike or a Car? This says something for their Product!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate to bust ANYONE'S bubble here,and not lookimng to start a fight--but the next time you see a Harley "opened-up", take a good look at the "markings" on some of the parts.They ARE using "jap-crap" for parts on Harley's now.
      The Honda (especially the GoldWing) is ENTIRELY built in a factory, just south of Columbus,Ohio. Sorry gang.
      Harley is NOT 100% American-made anymore.
      • 4 Years Ago
      for some reason a south park episode comes to my mind
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have had 13 bikes over my 60+ years. I started out w/ an ALLSTATE, mix the gas and oil, a couple of big HONDAS, decent bikes, a couple of big KAWASAKIS that weren't bad and 3 HARLEYS, all road bikes, this last an ELECTRA GLIDE and I have enjoyed them all. I do most of my own mechanics and i take care of my bikes. I have never been stranded anywhere, I wish that I could say that about my cars. In general Harley has been a very good product, slightly over-priced, especially the used bikes but other than that, a good product. In my 40+ years riding I don't have many complaints on any of my bikes, now my new cars, AMERICAN & FOREIGN thats a different story.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not sure if it's viable but I could see Ford buying HD. They already have a fairly long-standing business relationship, and Ford certainly stands to lose if the Harley brand equity falters. Then again, maybe Ford wouldn't mind dumping the Harley brand from their trucks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Harley faithful have long memories. Any buyout is going to remind them of the bad old days of AMF-Harley Davidson. If they think sales are depressed now, just wait...
        • 4 Years Ago
        You zackerey wight, Mr Samuri.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think their worried much. Harley's prime demographic is leaving the market. Same thing the Corvette is going through. I'm not cheering that, just acknowledging a reality. The young guys in my particular area regard both Harleys and 'Vettes as interesting but not desirable dinosaurs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People complain about the look of the bike or that is a new 50 year old bike?WHAT?Im not a harley guy,never owned one,I think they are really pretty machines but I think about it like this,if it aint broke,dont fix it.....You want a sport bike like me???Think harely needs to make one too?Buell makes sport bikes with the v twin...I believe they should stay the coarse they have been on for 100 years,Im not buying one but get yourself a jap bike like Ive got two of,and buy yourself a HD of the same year,ride them for 5 years and see which bike has any resale value at all.
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