A few days back, we told you KTM was buying into MV Agusta in a big way. Now, in the post-EICMA fallout, we have some more details on this Austrian-Italian teamup.
At this point, KTM is confirmed as being a 25.1-percent shareholder in MV Agusta now, after investing 30 million Euros. Wait, what—why didn’t Pierer Mobility, the parent company of KTM (and Husqvarna, and GasGas) make this deal happen? No doubt it’s related to the big shuffle in internal company ownership structure which happened a few months back, although nobody’s quite explained why that corporate shuffle happened. At the end of it all, Austrian businessman Stefan Pierer appeared to maintain control of the company, with Indian manufacturer Bajaj owning the rest of the shares.
So now KTM owns a big chunk of MV Agusta. What can we expect? The press release quotes Timur Sardarov, CEO of MV Agusta, as saying “Driven by our shared vision of excellence, the principal goals of our alliance will be the consolidation of our core business and the production of high- performance motorcycles in the premium segment. I am confident that the agreement will strengthen our brand in a complex and challenging marketplace.”
In other words, MV Agusta stays in business and hopefully gets stronger, with new models and stronger organization behind it. And KTM? The Austrian company now has two members on MV’s board of directors, and will sell and service MV Agusta’s bikes in its North American dealerships. No doubt there will be some technology sharing as well.
It’s a massive move forward for both companies, as MV Agusta needs cash to develop its next-gen models and KTM, well—there’s a lot going on with KTM at the moment. Along with this deal, KTM also is strengthening its ties with CFMoto, distributing those Chinese bikes (some of which are made with KTM tech) in some markets.
Where will this leave us in a few years? It’s hard to say, but this Austrian/Italian/Chinese/Indian arrangement is certainly one of the most convoluted situations in motorcycling, and it’s increasingly difficult to figure out who’s building a machine, who’s designing it, and who owns the company behind it. Don’t forget, Italian MV Agusta is currently controlled by British/Russian financiers.