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Merc-AMG to buy bike firm MV Augusta?

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Mercedes-AMG is readying a potential bid to buy storied Italian motorcycle maker MV Augusta, a company insider has revealed to Top Gear.

Having lost Ducati to Audi in 2012, despite having a deep relationship with the Bologna-based bike brand, Mercedes-AMG is now looking at a deal to snap up Italy’s other member of red-painted motorcycling royalty.

MV Augusta has been sold a number of times over the past two decades: to Cagiva in 1999; to Lotus parent Proton in 2004; to a finance company in 2005; to Harley Davidson in 2008; and then finally to Claudio Castiglione, the architect of Ducati’s great renaissance, in 2010.

Castiglione died a year later, but not before he had sketched out a plan to revive the once-great Italian marque. His holding company now owns and runs the MV Augusta.

No details of the deal have yet been given, but AMG executives tell us they are already deep into exploring the possibilities of a tie-up.

The AMG tie-up with Ducati was scheduled to deliver co-branded motorcycles in a bid to extend the brand into a younger audience - and boost AMG’s green credentials.

The degree of certainty of the AMG MV Augusta deal has been increased by the presence of Investindustrial, a private equity fund, in other Mercedes-AMG business.

The fund, which is owned by the Bonomi family, was the owner of Ducati prior to the sale to Audi. It also owns a 37.5 per cent in Aston Martin, who AMG is working closely with supplying engines and electrical systems for the next-generation AM models.

So the two groups know each other well and have mutual interests. Maybe including MV Augusta in the not-too-distant future…

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