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