* Aims to achieve conditions to go public in three years
* Hires Banca Generali executive with IPO experience
* New three-cylinder bikes help nearly double sales in 2012
* Plans come amid 50 pct drop in Europe's motorcycle market
By Christiaan Hetzner
June 25 MV Agusta, a rival of Volkswagen's
Ducati hopes to be in a position to bring its brand
of Italian superbikes to Milan's stock market in 2015 as it
embarks on a new campaign for growth, it said on Tuesday.
"Over the next three years we aim to double (motorcycle)
sales with a solid capital structure, and we are convinced that
the outcome will be the listing of the company on the stock
exchange," Chief Executive and President Giovanni Castiglioni
said in a statement.
A source close to the family-owned company told Reuters that
MV Agusta is aiming to grow revenues to 120 million euros ($157
million) a year in 2015 from this year's expected 90 million
thanks to the launch of new models like the Rivale 800
Applying the valuation multiple implied in VW's purchase of
Ducati, MV Agusta could potentially be worth as much as 150
million euros when it lists, providing it hits its targets.
Volkswagen paid 750 million euros to acquire Ducati last
year, when Ducati generated 606 million euros from the sale of
44,100 motorcycles and earned 58 million euros in operating
Valuations vary greatly amid the current uncertainty in the
industry. Shares in Italian scooter and motorcycle maker Piaggio
trade at 0.7 times forward sales while Harley-Davidson
changes hands at 2.6 times sales, according to Reuters
As part of its plans to list MV Agusta has hired as
executive vice president 53-year old Giorgio Girelli, who as
chief executive of Banca Generali managed the 2006
initial public offering of the lender.
However, Europe's motorcycle market has almost halved in
size since 2007, even though premium brands like Ducati,
Triumph, BMW and KTM have gained market share at the expense of
the four mass-market Japanese rivals including market leader
This slump helped trigger a shake-out in the industry.
Italy's Investindustrial sold Ducati to VW's Audi in July 2012,
while BMW offloaded its Husqvarna brand of offroad motorbikes,
previously owned by Agusta, to Austria's KTM in
January for an undisclosed sum.
A legendary name in the motorcycling racing world, MV Agusta
won no fewer than 75 world championship driver and constructor
titles before largely disappearing in the 1970s.
Its rebirth in 1992 under motorcycle entrepreneur Claudio
Castiglioni and renowned designer Massimo Tamburini created the
F4 superbike, one of which belonged to King Juan Carlos of Spain
and was loaned out to the Guggenheim Museum for an exhibit.
In the past 10 years, however, the brand has repeatedly come
under financial duress and gone through several owners that
included Harley-Davidson and Malaysian state-owned carmaker
Proton. It was bought back in 2010 by Castiglioni
shortly before he died, and is now run by his son.
Thanks to the launch of its all new range of three-cylinder
sport and "naked" bikes, which have no fairings, MV Agusta
increased annual sales by 87 percent to around 7,000 motorcycles
last year, while revenue jumped 50 percent to 70 million euros.
Both MV Agusta and Ducati also compete with Italy's other
major sportsbike maker Aprilia, a unit of Piaggio.