Mercedes-AMG MV Agusta F3 800 Solar Beam (10)

Reports have surfaced in the Italian media that Mercedes-AMG, currently 25% owner of Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta, is strongly considering taking up a larger stake, if not a complete take-over, of the brand. It is said that the two companies have been in discussion, and an ultimatum may be forth-coming as early as next week.

In early 2015, Mercedes-AMG bought 25% of Agusta, and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche proclaimed that, “we have no intention to take over MV Agusta, not to start building motorcycles. When it comes to building bikes, MV Agusta is so much better than us,” according to an autoevolution report. MV Agusta had a very successful business year in 2015, recording growth in overall sales figures of over 30%, and in some countries as much as 140%.

However, despite burgeoning sales and the release of several new models over the past few months, Italian newspaper Il Sole has reported that Agusta is currently in debt to suppliers and banks to the tune of 40 million euro (RM180.7 million), with a 15 million euro (RM67.7 million) loan from Banco Popolare di Milano taking the lion’s share. The loan will immediately come due should Mercedes-AMG own less than 20% of MV Agusta stock.

Previously owned by Proton Holdings at a price of RM500 million, MV Agusta was controversially sold for one euro to Gevi SpA in 2006, which also assumed the brand’s debt. Harley-Davidson bought the company for RM429 million in 2008. The stake was then sold to Claudio Castiglioni in 2009, who reported an increase in sales by 50% in 2010.