Mergers and acquisitions news is rare in the current economic climate with the automotive companies pre-emptive steps to lessen any impact. TVS Motor Company Limited announced that it has acquired U.K.’s iconic Norton Motorcycles in an all-cash deal worth 16 million British pounds or Rs 153 Crores in Indian currency. Norton Motorcycles is an Iconic English brand and well-known for popular products like V4 RR, Dominator, Commando 961, Cafe Racer MK II and Commando 961 Sport MK II.
Norton Motorcycles has a rich history of developing classic motorcycles. It was founded by James Lansdowne Norton in 1898 in Birmingham, England. TVS Motor Company is one of the largest two-wheeler manufacturers in India with Apache being the most successful two-wheeler in its portfolio. Rothschild and Co. served as the financial advisor while legal assistance in the deal was provided by Khaitan & Co., and Slaughter and May.
So why Norton deal would be a game-changer for TVS? Well, the Chennai based automaker will make the plunge into the classic motorcycle segment currently being dominated by Royal Enfield. With Norton in their ranks, TVS Motor Company will now compete with Royal Enfield in the 350-650 cc motorcycle segment in India and the international market. The decision to buy Norton comes in the wake of recent business tie-ups in the automobile industry. Bajaj Auto joined hands with Triumph Motorcycles while Mahindra & Mahindra acquired BSA and Jawa. The continuous acquisitions and developments by its rivals looks to have got TVS interested in entering the classical motorcycle segment.
Commenting on the acquisition, Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company said, “This is a momentous time for us at TVS Motor Company. Norton is an iconic British brand celebrated across the world and presents us with an immense opportunity to scale globally. This transaction is in line with our effort to cater to the aspirations of discerning motorcycle customers. We will extend our full support for Norton to regain its full glory in the international motorcycle landscape.” He further added, “Norton will continue to retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans. TVS Motor will work closely with customers and employees in building the success and pre-eminence of the Norton Motorcycles brand and we look forward to growing together globally in the years to come.”
For Indian bike enthusiasts, Norton classical range of motorcycles arriving on Indian shores is an exciting thought. While there is no clear disclosure of information regarding the manufacturing of Norton in India but we can expect the 650cc Altas range to hit the Indian market soon.