MV Agusta, Part 4: Ownership & Control Timeline, 1945-2020

MV Agusta, Part 4: Ownership & Control Timeline, 1945-2020

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MV Agusta and Related Companies Timeline

By David Swarts

1945 – Meccanica Verghera Srl (MV Agusta) established by Count Domenico Agusta. The company’s first motorcycle is the MV 98.

MV Agusta’s first motorcycle, the 1945 MV 98

 

1947 – Franco Bertoni wins MV Agusta’s first motorcycle race using an MV 98 Sport.

1950 – Giovanni Castiglioni founds Cagiva. The company is named after its owner and where it was located, CAstiglioni GIovanni VArese.

1955 – MV Agusta starts producing Bell helicopters under a license agreement.

1956 – John Surtees wins MV Agusta’s first World Championship in the 500cc class.

 

John Surtees riding a 1956 MV Agusta 350cc four-cylinder Grand Prix racebike. Photo courtesy of MV Agusta.
John Surtees riding a 1956 MV Agusta 350cc four-cylinder Grand Prix racebike. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

 

Giacomo Agostini (1) riding a 1966 500cc triple-cylinder MV Agusta Grand Prix racebike. Photo courtesy of MV Agusta.
Giacomo Agostini (1) riding a 1966 500cc three-cylinder MV Agusta Grand Prix racebike. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

 

1971 – Count Domenico Agusta dies.

1973 – Agusta family sells 51% of MV Agusta to EFIM, a public financing group.

1976 – Giacomo Agostini wins MV Agusta’s last World Championship, to date.

1978 – Castiglioni’s son Claudio Castiglioni takes Cagiva into the motorcycle business and purchases an old Aermacci/AMF/Harley-Davidson factory in Schirana, near Varese, Italy.

1979 – Cagiva produces 40,000 motorcycles.

1980 – MV Agusta stops producing motorcycles.

1985 – Cagiva buys Ducati for $5 million U.S.

1985 – Cagiva buys Moto Morini.

1987 – Cagiva buys Husqvarna.

1991 – Cagiva acquires MV Agusta, which is only a name at the time.

1996 – Cagiva sells 51% stake in Ducati to Texas Pacific Group (TPG) for about $325 million U.S.

1996 – Cagiva restructures under the name MV Agusta.

1999 –The first new MV Agusta motorcycle is produced – the F4 750 sportbike.

 

MV Agusta F4 750 during 1999 press intro at Monza. Photo by Kel Edge, courtesy MV Agusta.

 

MV Agusta F4 750 without bodywork, during 1999 press intro at Monza. Photo by Kel Edge, courtesy MV Agusta.

 

Roadracing World Editor John Ulrich aboard MV Agusta F4 750, during 1999 press intro at Monza. Photo by Kel Edge, courtesy MV Agusta.

2002 – MV Agusta goes into receivership, a.k.a. government control.

2004 – Malaysian auto manufacturer Proton buys majority share of MV Agusta for 70 million Euro (about $83 million U.S. at the time), allowing MV Agusta to exit receivership.

2005 – Proton sells its share in MV Agusta to GEVI S.p.A., an investment firm, for 1 Euro with GEVI assuming $126 million U.S of MV Agusta’s debt. GEVI then allows MV Agusta to refinance its debt.

2007 – MV Agusta sells Husqvarna to BMW for 93 million Euro (or about $127 million U.S. at the time).

2008 – Harley-Davidson buys MV Agusta for $109 million U.S., including $69 million U.S. in assumed debt.

Roadracing World Racing Editor Chris Ulrich aboard a 2010 MV Agusta F4 1000 during testing for the magazine at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, copyright 2010, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

2010 – Harley-Davidson “divests” itself of MV Agusta, selling it to Claudio Castiglioni for 1 Euro with $20 million U.S. cash in MV Agusta’s accounts, effectively paying Castiglioni $20 million to take MV Agusta back.

2011 – Claudio Castiglioni dies at the age of 64, and Giovanni Castiglioni becomes President and CEO of MV Agusta.

2014 – Mercedes-AMG acquires a 25% share of MV Agusta for an undisclosed sum.

2014 – Giovanni Castiglioni tells journalists at the launch of the new 2015 Stradale 800 that MV Agusta does not plan to ever produce small-displacement motorcycles and will instead continue to focus on producing high-end motorcycles.

 

MV Agusta’s Giovanni Castiglioni during a 2015 Stradale 800 press intro held in Italy. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.
American Brian Gillen took over as MV Agusta R&D Technical Director in 2015. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

2015 – MV Agusta announces it is filing for the Italian equivalent of bankruptcy protection from its creditors.

2016 – Black Ocean Group (founded by Oliver Ripley and Timur Sardarov) and MV Agusta Holding (owned by the Castiglioni family) inject capital into MV Agusta.

2017 – Italian courts approve MV Agusta’s restructuring plan.

2017 – MV Agusta Holding, now owned by Giovanni Castiglioni and Sardarov, repurchases shares owned by Mercedes-AMG and claims 100% ownership of MV Agusta.

2017 – MV Agusta receives more capital from ComSar Invest.

Timur Sardarov, Chairman and CEO of MV Agusta. Photo courtesy of MV Agusta.
Timur Sardarov, Chairman and CEO of MV Agusta. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

2018 – Sardarov becomes CEO of MV Agusta, and Castiglioni assumes the role of President of MV Agusta.

 

American engineer Brian Gillen poses with an SCS automatic clutch during a 2018 press intro for the 2018 Veloce 800 Lusso SCS model held at MV Agusta headquarters in Varese, Italy. Photo by Melissa Berkoff, copyright 2018, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

 

Roadracing World Contributor Melissa Berkoff during a press intro for the 2018 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS in Italy. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

2019 – Sardarov family buys out the Castiglioni family and acquires 100% of MV Agusta, with Timur Sardarov becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors as well as the CEO. Giovanni Castiglioni transitions into an advisory role with the company.

2019 – MV Agusta enters into long-term strategic partnership with China’s Loncin Motor to produce a new line of 350cc-500cc motorcycles.

MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov (left) and Loncin President Yong Gao (right) signing a partnership agreement. Photo courtesy of MV Agusta.
MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov (left) and Loncin President Yong Gao (right) sign partnership agreement in 2019. Photo courtesy MV Agusta.

2019 – MV Agusta secures capital funding to execute its new five-year strategic plan.

2020 – MV Agusta celebrates 75th anniversary.

2020 – MV Agusta USA hosts dealers at a January convention in Las Vegas, where Timur Sardarov, Brian Gillen, Doug McCloskey and other executives lay out MV Agusta’s plans for the future.

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