MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson said Friday it will buy Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group for about $109 million to boost its presence in Europe, giving it entry into the popular performance bike market there.
MV Agusta makes premium sport motorcycles under its name brand and lightweight motorcycles under the Cagiva brand.
The deal will help Harley-Davidson expand into the European market as sales slump in the U.S., where consumers are pulling back on spending. Performance, or sport, bikes account for about 80 percent of sales in Europe, Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Jim Ziemer said. The company has nearly 10 percent of that market.
The move gives Harley-Davidson a chance to go after European motorcyclists, who tend to be younger than U.S. riders, Ziemer said.