Slowly but surely, Bajaj Auto continues to gobble up pieces of KTM’s stock. Taking its investment position now to just over 47%, Bajaj has acquired another 6.3% of the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, and is projected to continue acquiring stock in the company.
The second-largest motorcycle manufacturer in India, Bajaj is also the second-largest shareholder in KTM, with KTM’s largest controlling position belonging to Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO) and Rudolf Knuenz (KTM Chairman of the Board), whose combined holdings come to just more than 51% of the company.
Despite investing further in KTM, Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing Director to Bajaj Auto and Board Member of KTM, has denied having any intent of becoming the majority shareholder in KTM. Though that statement has done little to squash fears of the Indian company taking over KTM.
Bajaj started its investment in KTM with a 14.5% stake back in 2007, and has slowly increased its position since then. KTM is reliant on Bajaj for access to the Indian market, and has long-term plans to move production to India in order to be more profitable there and in the global market.
Despite reservations of that collaboration, the company’s first product from their partnership, the KTM 125 Duke, has been an overwhelming success for KTM & Bajaj, with larger displacement models of the Duke set to roll out in different markets globally. Roughly 1 in 8 of every KTM sold in 2011 was built by Bajaj, and that percentage is set to jump to nearly 50% by 2015.
Additionally, KTM hopes to sell 25,000-30,000 units in India alone this year, and well into 200,000 units by 2015. Because of Bajaj’s involvement, in January and Februar of 2012, KTM was the largest seller of motorcycles in Europe, selling roughly 8,400 units in the two-month period, which edged out BMW’s estimated 8,250-8,300 unit volume.
Source: The Economic Times; Photo © 2004 Heinz Mitterbauer / KTM – All Rights Reserved