UPDATE: The deal is now done, with Harley-Davidson issuing a press release.
Expected to be closed within hours, Harley-Davidson is on the verge of selling MV Agusta to Claudio Castiglioni. Castiglioni was able to leverage the purchase of MV Agusta by using the funds that would have been generated by his stock buy-out, which is rumored to be between €20 – €30 million. Castiglioni is today’s big winner in the deal, as the Italian is basically buying back the company he sold to Harley-Davidson for pennies on the dollar, while Harley-Davidson is left holding the tab on a hefty purchase price and cash infusion into the Italian company.
With Castiglioni’s stock swap, no money it seems will actually be changing hands between the Italian and Harley-Davidson in order to complete the transaction. It’s speculated that the threats of lawsuits pertaining to Castiglioni’s minor shareholder position made outside buyers to MV Agusta less appealing to Harley-Davidson, who was looking for the cleanest exit possible from holding MV Agusta as a subsidiary.
MV Agusta has had a tumultuous past under Castiglioni’s influence, which may be his reason for including Minoli in the company’s future operations. Harley-Davidson it seems is the big loser in the deal, as the company has essentially invested a considerable amount of capital into turning around MV Agusta, and gotten nothing in exchange for it.
Look for an official statement on MV Agusta’s acquisition later today.