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