Audi as Ducati owners would be an ace from the Volkswagen Group: Any sign of a deal will be evident in mid April 2012
As per Corriere di Bologna, an Italian news paper, Audi, the German auto manufacturer has made an offer of £630 million to purchase Italian bike company Ducati. By taking over Ducati, Audi will be adding one more auto major to the Volkswagen Group fold and will go a long way in cementing their position in the auto market. While talks are on to takeover Ducati, their hostile takeover bid in regards to Suzuki still hasn’t reached a solution with both companies holding onto each other’s stakes.
Audi has made the bid offer to take over Ducati with a £630 million bid to Investinduatrial, a private equity firm that has been associated with the Italian two wheeler company since 2008 and manages the company’s finances. Ducati sells over 40,000 bikes per annum, controls around 9% of the sports market and profits stood at £71 million in 2010 resulting in the company value to stand at way over £500 million.
Ducati is best known for their high performance motorcycles and produces motorcycles for both road use and motorcycle racing. Audi and Ducati owners would be in final stages of talks regarding the formers plans to take over the Italian Motorcycle Company Ducati for a price of $1.2 billion. Though both company sources declined from commenting at this early stage, suggestions that Audi will be acquiring Ducati are rife and there are still a few issued to be ironed out.
Acquisition prices are pegged at € 870 to €875 million or $1.2 billion which will also include debts of €200 million and the two companies are still to value real estate properties before the deal is closed. Word is expected to be out in mid April. If this deal goes through, Volkswagen Group will have access to Ducati’s lightweight, high performance engine technology. Audi acquisition of the Italian Superbike company will also make them compete with BMW where premium motorbike business is concerned.
Other names that rose in a Ducati takeover bid included Daimler, Indian manufacturers Hero and Mahindra and Mahindra. Initial reports said Audi is prepared to take on Ducati debt financial liabilities. Ducati was founded in 1926 and builds bikes at prices ranging from $30000 onwards. Ducati has also won 17 manufacturers world championship titles in the past six decades.