Russian firm takes control of Italian bike maker MV Agusta

Just three years after purchasing a stake in 2014, Mercedes-AMG is divesting itself of MV Agusta shares. A report from MotorAuthority said Mercedes-AMG's 25 percent stake in the company has been bought by ComSar Invest, which now controls 100 percent of the bike company. ComSar is part of the Black Ocean Group, owned by wealthy Russian oil and gas magnate Timur Sardarov.

Sardarov’s company is optimistic in the purchase and has promised continued investment into the MV Agusta sales and service network, technology fields, and marketing presence to expand the Italian marque's presence.

Mercedes-AMG purchased the 25 percent stake in MV Agusta in 2014 in response to its competitor, Audi, purchasing Ducati in 2012. It’s not clear if Mercedes-AMG’s sale of its stake is also influenced by the recent announcement of the Volkswagen Group’s intention to sell Ducati.

MV Agusta is helmed by Giovanni Castiglioni, who called the deal, “an important milestone for our plan which has as a main objective the reinforcement of MV Agusta core business: the production of high-performance, high end motorcycles.”

The Castiglioni family regained control of MV Agusta after American motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, bought a heavily indebted MV Agusta for US$109 million back in 2008, only to sell it back to the Castiglionis for a profit of €1 in 2010. Curiously, Harley-Davidson has expressed interest in acquiring another sport bike manufacturer, Ducati, in recent months.

Nonetheless, MV Agusta reports it returned to profitability in 2016. The exact details have not been disclosed, however, AMG’s purchase of 25% of MV Agusta in 2014 was reported to cost US$40 million.