One of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers, TVS Motor Company has announced the acquisition of British brand Norton Motorcycles. In a statement, TVS has said that the company has acquired Norton Motorcycles in an all-cash deal of GBP 16 million (around ₹ 153 crore in current exchange rates), by acquiring certain assets of Norton Motorcycles (UK) Limited through one of TVS Motor's overseas subsidiaries. The TVS statement says that this will be one of the most interesting acquisitions of a storied motorcycle brand in recent times, and will reflect TVS Motor Company's and India's rapidly rising prominence in the international two-wheeler market.
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."
"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," he added.
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According to the press statement, TVS Motor Company said that it is excited about the existing and upcoming products at Norton Motorcycles, including Commando, Dominator and the V4 RR. The statement further said that Norton Motorcycles can leverage TVS Motor Company's global reach and supply chain capabilities to expand to new markets. TVS also has a collaboration with BMW Motorrad, under which the BMW G 310 R and BMW G 310 GS are manufactured by TVS at its manufacturing facility in southern India. TVS also has its own motorcycle based on that common platform, the TVS Apache RR 310.
Founded in 1898 by james Lansdowne Norton in Birmingham, Norton Motorcycles is among the most popular British motorcycle brands of all time, along with the likes of Triumph, BSA and now Royal Enfield, which is now entirely under Indian ownership. In recent decades, Norton changed ownership several times, until British businessman Stuart Garner bought the brand from American ownership in 2008. Garner relaunched the Norton brand with the 961 cc engine platform with two models - names revived from Norton's past, the Dominator and the Commando. In January 2020, Norton went into administration. Now, hopefully, Norton will get a fresh lease of life with capital and fresh funding from TVS.