We'd heard the rumors and now it's official. Harley-Davidson has announced that it has sold the MV Agusta brand to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l. For those who aren't exactly up on their boutique Italian motorcycle history, Castiglioni is the same man H-D bought the company from back in 2008 and had been serving as company chairman ever since.
No actual financial data has yet been announced, but rumors from Italy have it that the Italian businessman isn't actually paying anything more than a single symbolic euro for the storied motorcycle manufacturer and may even be getting some additional financial support from Harley-Davidson for the foreseeable future.
Couple those reports with the realization that H-D payed $109 million for MV Agusta just two years ago and subsequently spent big money to revamp the Italian manufacturer's product lineup and it's easy to see that the Milwaukee-based company is coming out the biggest loser in this exchange.
Harley is showing no (official) hard feelings, though. "MV Agusta is a proud brand and we wish Mr. Castiglioni and the company's employees well," Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell said in a statement. Feel free to peruse the official press release after the break.
MILWAUKEE, Aug. 6, 2010 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) has concluded the sale of its subsidiary, MV Agusta, to Claudio Castiglioni and his wholly owned holding company, MV Agusta Motor Holding, S.r.l., effective today.
Castiglioni is the former owner of the Italian motorcycle maker and has served as MV Agusta's chairman since 2008, when Harley-Davidson acquired the company.
In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced its intention to sell MV Agusta as part of a new corporate strategy to focus resources on the Harley-Davidson brand. Since then, Harley-Davidson has held discussions with various potential MV Agusta buyers.
"MV Agusta is a proud brand and we wish Mr. Castiglioni and the company's employees well," said Harley-Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell. "Our decision to divest MV Agusta reflects our strategy to focus our efforts and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to long-term growth."
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) and Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell).