No, that’s not a typo. Proton, who last year bought a 57.7% interest in MV Agusta for around $85 million, sold their share of the prestigious Italian motorcycle manufacturer on December 29 for 1 euro (approximately $1.20).
Proton had bought a controlling share in MV hoping its investment could turn the company into a money-maker, but apparently MV’s money-losing ways and massive debt were too much for the Malaysian company. According to Proton, MV has lost approximately $35 million in the last 15 months, and currently has over $55 million in debt.
Proton sold its MV shares to an Italian trading company, GEVI SpA, which now assumes primary liability for MV’s debts. The sale has caused an uproar in Malaysia and in worldwide business markets, as it was apparently made without taking bids or attempting to get a better price for the MV stock.
How will this affect current and prospective MV Agusta owners, and the motorcycling community in general? This remains to be seen, and it is unlikely that GEVI will announce what it plans to do with its majority stake in MV until the sale of the stock is finalized on February 28. At that point, GEVI will likely announce its intentions towards MV, which could possibly include investing capital to clear the company’s debts while restructuring its management for more efficient (and hopefully more profitable) operation.
Check back with MD for more news on MV Agusta’s future as we receive it.