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Harley Completes Acquisition Of Italy's MV Agusta

Company's $108 million acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group is part of an effort to boost its sales in Europe.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Harley-Davidson Inc. said Friday it completed its 70 million euro ($108 million) acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group.

As part of the deal, Harley assumes MV Agusta's existing bank debt of 45 million euros ($69 million), the company said.

Harley announced its plans acquire the premium sport bike maker last month as part of an effort to boost sales in Europe, where sport bikes account for about 80 percent of sales. Harley has seen its own sales grow in the double digits in Europe for the past three years.

At home, the situation has been more difficult for Harley as it grapples with lower sales brought on by the economic slowdown, a weak consumer environment and the surge in gas prices. Earlier this year, Harley cut shipments to its motorcycle dealers and trimmed its work force.

MV Agusta's bikes are considered premium, high-end bikes and typically sell in a range of about $14,495 to $24,995 in the U.S. Some sell for even more, with special editions fetching $120,000.

Shares of Harley rose 96 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $40.99 in morning trading Friday. The stock is down 14 percent for the year.

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