According to news reported by Economic Times, German car manufacturer Audi (Part of Volkswagen group) will announce acquisition of Ducati in the next week. The sources confirmed that Investindustrial, Italian private equity firm and owner of Ducati, is agreed to talk with Audi exclusively and the buyout could be announced as early as 18th April, the day before the annual shareholder’s meeting in Hamburg. The news also confirmed by Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that the deal between Ducati and Audi is expected to be signed by next week and Audi has the right to negotiate exclusively until April 15, after which Investindustrial is free to talk to other potential buyers.
However, Volkswagen, Audi and Investindustrial declined to comment on this. Earlier it was noted that there are many buyers are in race to buy Ducati including India’s Hero Motocorp and Mahindra group. Audi also tried to acquire Ducati in 2005 from Texas Pacific Group but then it was acquired by Investindustrial. The potential acquisition will make Volkswagen brand portfolio to twelve including Audi.
The reason being Volkswagen wants to buy Ducati is because of its arch rival BMW. The acquisition of Ducati will give Volkswagen group an advantage over BMW’s superbikes. It will also give an advantage of Ducati’s expertise in high revving, light engines to Volkswagen group. Ducati was founded in 1926 and it has won 17 manufacturer’s World Championship titles over past 60 years including 2011 World Superbike trophy. It is also known for extensive use of terllis steel frame in its motorcycles.
– Mahavir Kothari