Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Volkswagen's Audi Unit plans to buy/acquire Luxury Bike Manufacturer Ducati




Audi AG is in talks to buy Ducati Motor Holding SpA, the maker of luxury motorbikes ridden by celebrities such as Brad Pitt, from owner Investindustrial SpA, according to two people familiar with the matter. They are considering the total price of 850 million Euros (£715m), which would include around 800 million Euros worth of liabilities (£670m). The firm are thought to be carrying out due diligence, a sign they are serious about the deal.

Although Ducati entered a cooperation agreement with Daimler offshoot AMG in 2010, Audi has emerged as favourite to buy the firm – and take on its considerable debts – from parent company Ducati Motor Holding, the investment arm of an Italian family. Ducati sells around 35,000 motorcycles per year.

Investindustrial, a Milan-based private equity company, may hold an initial public offering of Ducati in Hong Kong this year or sell it to a rival, two people familiar with the plans said last month. Ducati was delisted from the Milan exchange in 2008.

Mercedes, who with AMG have recently entered a contra-deal with Ducati would likely be sidelined if the Audi deal were to go ahead.

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