Fresh off the European newswires, reports out of Italy are tipping motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta as looking to offer up to 30% of the company on the stock market. If true, the move would make good on MV Agusta’s hope of going public by 2016 — noticeably quite ahead of schedule.

Additionally, reports out of Germany are also indicating that Daimler AG (owner of Mercedes-Benz), is looking for a minority stake in MV Agusta, and approached the Italian company these past few weeks about that possibility — a move not to dissimilar to the one that saw Audi AG acquire Ducati Motor Holding.

Asphalt & Rubber readers will remember that Daimler was heavily rumored to be in talks with Ducati about the Italian company’s acquisition, going even as far as to establish a strategic partnership with the AMG performance brand.

With Audi wooing Ducati away from Mercedes-Benz, it would seem the Stuttgart-based company has looked elsewhere in the country shaped like a boot for its Cinderella.

Today’s news isn’t the first time we’ve heard Daimler’s name used in conjunction with an MV Agusta purchase or investment, but it is the most credible report we have seen on the matter thus far.

In some ways the idea of an MV Agusta IPO seems ridiculous, as the Italian brand is far from flourishing, despite its efforts to build volume off its new line of three-cylinder motorcycles. However, MV Agusta has seen growth, and its latest batch of machines have been the best to come out of Varese in a long, long, long while.

On the other side of the coin, MV Agusta could see success if it could find a strong financial backing, something it’s been unable to do since it was reacquired by the Castiglioni family from Harley-Davidson.

Cleared of debt, retooled for modern manufacturing, and with a bevy of models under development, the single greatest factor holding back MV Agusta has been the company’s inability to secure credit from banks, even in Italy.

Needing to build the brand outside of Italy, investing particularly in customer support, inventory supply, and dealership expansion, an infusion of capital from a public offering, or from an investment from a company like Daimler, would go a long way to making MV Agusta a stable brand and powerful manufacturer.

In some circles, that could even be considered a prudent investment for Daimler, outside of the environmental and regulatory advantages four-wheel brands have with owning two-wheeled marques. There is also the little matter of Daimler being the only German car manufacturer without a motorcycle brand in its wings, assuming that the Germans even pay attention to such details.

So far no one from Daimler or MV Agusta is talking about the rumors, but it’s certainly an interesting story that is developing. Stay tuned for more information as we get it.

Source: Boersen-Zeitung (Sub. Required), Reuters, & Debeurs

  • AHA

    Interesting. You’ve got to think a minority holding from Daimler Benz would be a far more stable and therefore attractive prospect than the ever-changing moods of people fixated by p/e ratios and the like.

    Makes me wonder again why VW-Audi and now Daimler never bought KTM, who went to Bajaj instead. Wolfsburg & Stuttgart look to Piedmont. Austria looks to India. Geography is a funny thing.

    Perhaps Hr. Pierer was too tough a negotiator for their C-suite egos?

  • Damn

    smart again! because history learns that it can hurt buying or investing in MV. because you always get a share of your money back. ABOUT 1$

  • Damn

    can must be can’t

  • JS

    Damn, I think you were right the first time.

    Jensen, any reporting on WSBK this weekend? you know the AMERICAN round. It seems to have become a neglected championship on this site lately. I don’t even remember your own countryman PJ Jacobson getting a mention when he scored his first podium in World Supersport.

  • akatsuki

    MV Agusta isn’t Ducati, and this is a poor move for MB. They’d be better off with Triumph or Aprilia or someone who actually makes bikes that don’t just sell on “character”…

  • Well.. if they can stabilize MV it may not be a bad move.. MV is a great brand with potential that has not been properly utilized for my entire adult life (I’m 27).

    MV’s biggest problems are: Dealer Network & Servicing (see dealer network).

    If this can be addressed.. they have a unique product that I believe there is room for in the USA at least.. look at what Ducati have done in their growth despite the economy’s downturn the past few years.

    I wish them the best.. I’m a motorcyclist and the more options we have the better..