A couple of weeks ago we brought you news that Daimler, through its Mercedes-AMG performance brand, was looking to acquire a stake in Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta. Well, it’s been confirmed today that Mercedes-AMG will in fact buy 25 percent of MV Agusta.
The two have also signed a cooperation agreement on a long-term partnership, mainly in the area of marketing and sales, and under the deal Mercedes-AMG will be able to appoint a member of MV Agusta’s board of directors. No details have been disclosed of the price to be paid for the 25 percent stake, though it was previously reported to be around $40 million.
Some readers may recall that Mercedes-AMG was working closely with Ducati at one point, but eventually cut its ties in 2012 when Ducati was sold to Audi. The tie-up with MV Agusta now provides Mercedes-AMG and its parent company Daimler with a rival to BMW’s Motorrad and Audi’s Ducati motorcycle brands.
Furthermore, the move should also provide Daimler with access to MV Agusta’s high-performance three-cylinder engine technology. The Volkswagen Group has already taken advantage of Ducati’s engine know-how, using one of its V-twin engines to power its XL Sport concept car, and we could see similar moves by Daimler in the near future.
Once a leading team in MotoGP, MV Agusta fell into obscurity in the ’70s and ‘80s before being bought by Italian entrepreneur Claudio Castiglioni. It’s changed hands a number of times since then, with Harley-Davidson and Proton taking turns at running it. Castiglioni repurchased the brand in 2010 and currently it is run by his son Giovanni. The company has about 260 staff employed at its main facility based on the shores of Lago di Varese in Northern Italy, 90 of which work in the area of R&D.