Published on October 24th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Ducati Thrives With New Owners, Audi. MV Augusta With Mercedes, How?
Volkswagen Group’s premium unit Audi bought rival motorbike maker Ducati from Italian private equity investor Investindustrial in 2012, when Daimler denied media reports that it was also interested in buying Ducati. Family-owned Agusta said last year it was seeking funding for an ambitious expansion plan which included the possibility of listing on the stock market.
The Castiglioni family which owns Agusta hired Giorgio Girelli, a former chief executive of Banca Generali to help push expansion plans and a possible listing. Recent stock-market volatility has however made listing on the stock exchange more difficult.
A legendary name in motorcycling, MV Agusta won no fewer than 75 world championship driver and constructor titles before largely disappearing in the 1970s. Its rebirth in 1992 under motorcycle entrepreneur Claudio Castiglioni and renowned designer Massimo Tamburini created the F4 superbike, one of which belonged to King Juan Carlos of Spain and was loaned out to the Guggenheim Museum for an exhibit.
In the past 10 years, however, the brand has repeatedly come under financial duress and gone through several owners that included Harley-Davidson and Malaysian state-owned carmaker Proton. It was bought back in 2010 by Castiglioni shortly before he died, and is now run by his son. Both MV Agusta and Ducati also compete with Italy’s other major sportsbike maker Aprilia, a unit of Piaggio.