Two different sources indicate that Volkswagen owned Audi is in the final stages of talks to purchase Ducati from current owners Investindustrial according to Bloomberg.
Audi is the sporty mainstream brand in the portfolio of vehicle companies that has been amassed by Volkswagen which include super car makers Lamborghini and Bugatti but also mainstream VW and lower rent Seat and Skoda.
Reportedly, Audi has the right of first refusal on a purchase until the middle of next month for a consideration of around 850 million Euros which includes assuming 800 million of debt.
VW has expressed interest in Ducati in the past but chose to pursue an interest in Suzuki which has turned out badly for both parties. Although many thought Mercedes would pursue Ducati (not us), pointing to the joint marketing via the AMG brand and the AMG branded Ducati Diavel, this now seems unlikely.
The world’s largest motorcycle maker, India’s Hero recently admitted to being shopped Ducati by merchant bankers. The current information regarding Audi’s interest comes from the well regarded UK CAR magazine.
According to CAR, the acquisition of Ducati is part of Project Eagle, a project that would see VW acquire a prestigious motorcycle brand. Company Chairman Ferdinand Piech supposedly considered reviving Horex but luckily for motorcyclists came to his senses.
For its part Audi CEO Martin Winterkorn would only say that he keeps his eyes open to what’s for sale on the market when speaking about any VW interest in Ducati during Monday’s annual meeting.
If you want to see how the lame stream media reports on Ducati, check out the Bloomberg video below. I guarantee you will cringe.
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FG_AUTHORS: Mark Morrison