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    Drew Dowdell

    Beleaguered Volkswagen may put the famed Italian motorcycle maker up for sale.

    Volkswagen, still under steep financial pressure from their diesel emissions scandal, is apparently looking to put some of its many assets on the auction block.  Up first looks to be famed Italian motorcycle builder Ducati. In July of 2012, Volkswagen originally acquired Ducati for $909 million through a complicated transaction involving subsidiary Audi which in turn owns Lamborghini which is the current holder of Ducati. The purchase was the brainchild of then VW Chairman Ferdinand Piëch, a long time motorcycle enthusiast.  Analysts at the time felt that it was more a trophy purchase for Chariman Piëch than one that made financial sense for VW.
    Sources have reported that VW has enlisted Evercore, an investment bank, to investigate the possible sale options for Ducati. Estimates currently peg Ducati with a value of around $1.63 billion (1.5b €).  Speculation is that Indian automaker Eicher, maker of motorcycle brand Royal Enfield is interested and exploring possibly acquiring the brand. While not as well known in the US, Royal Enfield sells more motorcycles globally than famed maker Harley Davidson. Eicher, which also partners with Polaris and Volvo Trucks for production in India is aggressively looking to grow its global portfolio. Eicher Motors recent growth means it has over $540 million* in cash reserves to put towards that global expansion goal. 
    Ducati sold 55,451 units in 2016. Other possible buyers of Ducati could include Harley Davidson, Polaris, and Suzuki.
    Source: Times of India
    Pictures courtesy of Ducati and Royal Enfield
    *In an earlier version of this article we converted Indian Rupee to US Dollars incorrectly. -DD
     

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 18, 2012
    It only seemed liked a month ago when the rumor of Audi would buy Italian motorcycle maker, Ducati came out. Well, the rumor is true as Audi announced today that it has bought Ducati.
    In their statement, Audi points to Ducati's technologies, which include control systems, combustion chamber process and lightweight construction as particular assets that "offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group."
    Ducati becomes the third company under Audi's umbrella. The other two are Lamborghini and ItalDesign-Giugiaro.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    AUDI AG acquires sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
    - Chairman Rupert Stadler: “As a sporty, global premium brand, Ducati is an excellent fit for Audi.”
    - Third pillar for AUDI AG in Italy
    - Ducati a leading player in engine technology and lightweight construction
    INGOLSTADT, Germany, Apr 17, 2012 - AUDI AG is acquiring from Investindustrial Group the tradition-steeped Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., which has its registered office in Bologna. The transaction will be completed as quickly as possible once authorized by the competition authorities. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition today in Hamburg. Ducati is known worldwide as a leading brand in motorcycle manufacture, with outstanding expertise in engine development and lightweight construction.
    Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for AUDI AG in Northern Italy. Another building block in the Company’s growth strategy thus falls into place. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, declared: “Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.” The progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character, and Ducati’s extensive know-how in lightweight construction thus offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group.
    Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, explains that the employee representatives of AUDI AG support the Company’s sustainable, co-determined growth strategy. “We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi – and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati,” commented Mosch.
    Ducati is a globally active company and has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna and at its own factory in Thailand. It maintains a series of importer companies in strategic markets. Experts predict that the motorcycle market will enjoy strong growth over the next few years, especially in Asia. In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million, employing around 1,100 people.
    The company was founded by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna in 1926. Known originally as Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati, it initially built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949.
    Ducati has been actively involved in motorcycle racing for many decades through its racing division Ducati Corse. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams. Ducati won the manufacturers’ championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships and the pilots’ 14 times.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 12, 2012
    Well, this is different. Car Magazine is reporting that Audi has signed an agreement with Italian motorcycle maker, Ducati to possibly buy them. The deal would cost of 850 million euros (about $1.1 billion) The 850 million includes a 800 million euro debt. Sources at Audi tell Car the company will most likely offer between 50 to 100 million euros and take on the large debt load.
    So, why is Audi interested in Ducati? Well there are three reasons. One: Audi has a bit of motorcycle history with former brands DKW and NSU. Two: Ducati chairman Andrea Bonomi has said he views "'Ducati as the two-wheel equivalent of Audi". Three: Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch has been wanting Ducati for the longest time. Back in 2008, Piëch said it was mistake not buying Ducati at the time.
    However, Audi isn't the only wanting Ducati. Mercedes-Benz, who's own AMG performance division is a partner with the brand and India's Mahindra are also in the running.
    Source: Car Magazine

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