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Polaris Industries Acquires Indian Motorcycles

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
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Polaris Industries, parent company of Victory Motorcycles, announced that it has acquired Indian Motorcycles as well.
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycles. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (“IML”), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”

With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”

Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”

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thescooterchick   August 11, 2011 04:52 AM
Hey Polaris,
If you are reading these comments, I would buy an Indian Spirit with the S&S Engine untill you create your oun engine. I would like to your First Female Sales Person for Polaris' New Indian.Howver,If you change the design and call it Indian, I think I'd have to resign. However,If you add a new product line especially for women,the vertical challenged, or the aging population, I really want to work for Polaris. I grew up with Polaris Snowmobiles in Pennsilvenia, so I know the quality and duribility of the brand. I studied your motorcycles when they came out, They were running a little rich in GA, so I decided to wait. Now, the waiting has definately has paid off. I have always (since I was Shirly Temple's, age when she made movies) wanted an Indian Motorcycle.
thescooterchick   August 11, 2011 04:32 AM
I feel as if the motor heads are missing the point. The Indian at this point is not for racing. It proved it's ability on the salt flats all those years ago. Now it is time to cruise down america's highways in the sheer splender of it awsome design & splender and,in my case, Beautyt! The sleek design (except for the chief's handle bars....straight from a third grader's tricycle!), of the fenders,(we'll have to exclude the scout on this commentary), the magnificent Chief Head as a light,the saddelbads with the fringe, and the elaberate tannk design and writting. WONDERMOUS! DON' EVEN THINK OF CHANGING THE NAMES. I do believe, Adid the prvious owner of the Indian, that there is a proxy. Polaris only has a limited span to come up with a new motor for all three Indian's. Polaris will not sell the Chief as it is. I do Agree, I is the ug;liest motor to inhabit a great historical or any other wonderful motor cycle design.
jeffo   April 20, 2011 07:27 AM
Maybe this means the Victory will move more towards performance bikes, event a true sport bike that could go nose-to-nose with the best from Japan and Europe? I'm a little to old for such a machine, but it would be nice to see an American company ... one with some real scale and resources ... back in that game. Harley will never attempt it again, so maybe Polaris is our best hope. Maybe they should even consider bringing on Eric Buell and his new operation, but only if they'd let him do it his way.
Mitch   April 20, 2011 06:31 AM
Although I think the retro, premium priced cruiser market is a little saturated at the moment for the current economic climate I do believe however this is Indian's last chance to thrive as a production motorcycle and I am curious if not a little excited to see how Polaris will develop it. I think Victory will continue to be Polaris's modern, performance cruiser branch and Indian will probably remain a retro, premium bike but with a stronger dealer network and hopefully either a lower price tag or a better engine. Only time will tell but it's nice to see the original American V-twin motorcycle getting another chance at life.
edpix   April 20, 2011 05:47 AM
I actually think this might be the best chance yet for Indian to actually evolve and have some measurable market penetration. I am sure it will be a while before we see any new Polaris engineered Indians and the prices won't be able to drop much until they get to that point either. BUT, I believe Polaris is committed to this aquisition and if they are willing to invest in Indian then they should reap the rewards eventually. The new (NC) Indians never really evolved past the initial Chief design with one basic chassis and engine. That new engine is nothing special in regards to performance and the round "bottle cap" valve covers are just plain ugly. Styling is always an individual preference but I really dislike the over accentuated bulge on the gas tank that accommodates the instruments, it looks really out of proportion from the side. I do like some of the concepts like the "Bomber" and the "Dark Horse" versions which give them some uniqueness in the market at least. For Indian to succeed the model range needs to diversify to an even broader degree than Victory and include some true sportier bikes like the early Indians did with all the success they had in racing. The Chief is probably always destined to be a big cruiser but I have higher hopes that new engineered Scout could be a very unique, lighter and sportier motorcycle. They should probably start by adding the Scout while they are selling off 2 years of backlogged over priced new Chiefs. Polaris, just don't use that same Indian bottle cap engine, it is underpowered, overweight and ugly. Indian deserves to be a performance leader and unfortunately that means new Indian engine will absolutely be needed, don't try just sticking a Victory engine in there either that will not cut it in the marketplace. I like the Victory engine but I think Indian needs it's own identity and if you make the best engine possible and make it unique to Indian then you will be able to command a premium for the bikes. As it stand now the current Indians are way overpriced for the performance and components that they have. Long live Indian!
GB   April 19, 2011 07:54 PM
Mike in WV, the Phoenix name sounds awesome. It should be interesting. Victory quaility in an Indian motorcycle. I wonder if they'll be able to bring the cost of an Indian motorcycle down or are they gonna let be high end one that only the rich can afford .
Mike in WV   April 19, 2011 05:31 PM
I think this is awesome. I always loved the old Indian style and now with Polaris/Victory technology, these classic bikes will have a brand new life. I think I would name the first Polaris/Indian bike the Phoenix...for obvious reasons. Polaris innovation and production should also help keep the cost down to a reasonable level. Excellent job Polaris!!!
Tessier   April 19, 2011 05:16 PM
Sure seams like an odd pairing to me. Hopefully some day they will get back to there racing roots!