Author`s name Olga Savka

Russian oligarch saves erstwhile popular Italian company

Benelli became the second luxurious acquisition of a young Russian businessman 

Employees of the previously popular Italian company, a maker of expensive sports motorcycles may hope now that their company will have a bright future. A man of the Russian origin promised to help Benelli extricate from the crisis and retrieve its popularity in the world. The person's name is Nikolai Smolensky: the 25-year-old man is the son of a well-known Russian banker, Alexander Smolensky. The price of the transaction has not been exposed to the public yet.

The businessman's plans to expand his automotive property surfaced last week, when it was decided to clear up some space for Benelli products on the territory of the TVR sports car maker, which Nikolai Smolensky acquired not too long ago.  For the time being, it is not known how exactly the young businessman intends to use the space, whether it is going to be a warehouse, an office or a workshop. Autoblog magazine wrote that Mr. Smolensky intends to organize the spare parts production on TVR's territory. In addition, the magazine believes, it is not clear, who initiated the purchase, whether it was Nikolai Smolensky, or the TVR administration.

PistonHeads magazine wrote with reference to its sources in the TVR that the acquisition of the motorcycle-making company originally sprang from Nikolai Smolensky himself. “Nick was happy to buy it. That is why they prepared some space to organize Benelli's production on the factory,” a source that wished to remain anonymous told the magazine.

Founded in 1911 by Benelli brothers, the company reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s. Benelli's motorcycles used to be as valuable and prestigious as modern BMW or Ducati bikes. The previous owner of the company, the Merloni family, never succeeded to retrieved Benelli's erstwhile popularity. Currently, Benelli suffers a serious financial crisis, and so does the British TVR, which Nikolai Smolensky ventured to revive a year ago.