MV Agusta's weak position could be the perfect chance for Mercedes-Benz to take over. The German automaker bought 25 percent of the motorcycle builder in 2014, and some Mercedes dealers in Europe started selling MV Agusta's high performance bikes earlier this year. The company's World Superbike Championship livery even carried AMG sponsorship.
According to Motorcycle, rumors in Italian media hint that negotiations are already underway for Mercedes to take a majority share in the motorcycle maker. However, MV Agusta president Giovanni Castiglioni, who holds 75 percent of the company, reportedly doesn't want to give up the reins. He allegedly could be in talks with former Ducati owner InvestIndustrial for backing. If he succeeds, Castiglioni could remain in control, but he would split MV Agusta's ownership three ways.
MV Agusta can't seem to keep an owner for very long. Harley Davidson held the company for barely a year before selling it off, and Proton dumped a majority of MV Agusta shares for just one euro in 2005. Mercedes might have the acumen and capital to give the business long-term success where these others couldn't.