4/18/2012 The acquisition has been announced
4/17/2012 Audi premium-car division has agreed to buy Italian motorcycle company Ducati for about 860 million euros ($1.12 billion) including debt, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. Ducati's liabilities are well below 200 million euros, one of the people said. Audi has reached a pact with Ducati's main shareholder, Investindustrial and plans to announce the acquisition on Wednesday, sources told Reuters last week.
Analysts including Arndt Ellinghorst at London-based Credit Suisse questioned the industrial benefit of the Ducati purchase, saying it was an unnecessary sideshow to VW's main challenges of integrating sports-car maker Porsche (PSHG_p.DE) and merging truck operations at MAN (MANG.DE) and Scania (SCVb.ST).
"The Ducati acquisition is driven by VW's passion for nameplates rather than industrial or financial logic," said Ellinghorst.
Ducati will increase the VW group's brand portfolio to twelve and extend Audi's long-standing rivalry with Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMWG.DE) to superbikes. VW's eleven-brand entity already makes everything from fuel-efficient city cars to 40-tonne trucks.
Audi and Investindustrial may agree to withhold the exact purchasing price in the statement, which they plan to publish on the eve of VW's annual shareholders' meeting in Hamburg, one of the sources said. The people declined to be identified because the matter remains confidential.
3/14/2012 German car manufacturer Audi is interested in buying Ducati, taking on all the debt of the Italian company for a total of £700 million (¤850 million), according to the British motorcycle magazine, MCN.
The Chairman of the Volkswagen AG Group, Ferdinand Piech, was willing to buy Ducati few years ago, losing out to current owner Investindustrial.
The Volkswagen Group includes Audi, Skoda Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini auto brands as well as heavy truckmakers Scania AB and MAN SE.
Probably the image of the Group is integrated then, while sporty Group customers will fulfil their bike dreams, buying another Group product.
It seems that the Chairman wanted initially to revive Horex, although its not as famous to current riders as Ducati is.
Mahindra, based in India and Daimler could also be interested in Ducati.