MV Agusta boss hits back at KTM takeover talks

MV Agusta majority shareholder Timur Sardarov has set the record straight on the rumoured KTM takeover of the Italian brand

MV Agusta F3 800 RR

IN November 2022, Austrian brand KTM acquired a 25.1 percent stake in the storied Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta. The acquisition of the shares followed months of swirling rumours around the two famous companies.

The deal meant KTM could step in and assist MV with its supply chain and distribution of its bikes via the Pierer Mobility global dealership network. Then, less than a week ago, Hubert Trunkenpolz, a senior KTM exec’, claimed that the long-term goal for the Austrian brand was to obtain a controlling stake in the company. That seems to be news to MV’s current owner and majority shareholder Timur Sardarov. He’s now gone on record with the German website Motorrad to set out his stall on the takeover talk.

In the Q&A, the straight-talking CEO said he was flattered by the interest in his brand, although disputes that KTM’s proposed takeover was on his radar. “Companies in German-speaking countries often have a very direct way of dealing with topics, that is their way of working. I get along well with it. And it's nice that there is such a great interest in MV Agusta on the executive floor of KTM” he said. Sardarov went on to defend two of the brand’s newest models, the travel enduro Lucky Explorer-branded adventure bikes. KTM’s take on these models is that they aren’t in keeping with MV’s luxury image, even going as far as claiming the smaller model, which will be built in China, could negatively impact the company’s image. "When we planned the 550s, we were still without a partner, so the motorcycle in our range made sense. Now we also include the KTM portfolio in our considerations, as we are building a joint distribution. And it's true, our 550s could be too expensive. But our 950s will definitely come, we have now also defined the final name of this new model series: MV Agusta LXP. Several variants are planned, including the Lucky Explorer."

The opinion of KTM on these models should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, given that KTM sees itself as the king of the adventure class thanks to models in a range of capacities. It’s highly likely that it would rather avoid a rivalry with a brand it is a significant shareholder of.

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