Audi expects to complete its EUR860 million ($1.06 billion) acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. today. Juergen De Graeve, a spokesman for Audi, said that their colleagues in Bologna, where Ducati is based, are scheduled to make the announcement. On April 18, 2012, Audi, a unit of the Volkswagen Group, disclosed plans to acquire Ducati from Investindustrial Advisors S.p.A., and was just waiting for approval from antitrust authorities. VW chair Ferdinand Piech has been longing to acquire Ducati. In fact, Piech publicly expressed interest in acquiring Ducati in April 2008, but was eventually outgunned by Investindustrial.
If the acquisition is realised today, Ducati will become the 11th brand in VW’s portfolio, which currently includes Lamborghini, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Scania and MAN. Earlier this month, the VW Group reached a deal to acquire the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche SE's automotive business that it doesn't own yet for EUR4.46 billion ($5.6 billion). The completion of that deal will see the addition of Porsche as the 12th brand in VW’s portfolio. Audi also owns other assets in Italy, including design and technology unit Italdesign, founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro who sketched the first Volkswagen Golf model.
Following the completion of the Ducati acquisition, Audi managers will replace the non-executive board members from Investindustrial, according to De Graeve. The Audi spokesman quipped that Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler is likely to join the Ducati board. He added that the current Ducati managers will remain on the bike manufacturer’s board to continue its business operations. Ducati sold 42,000 luxury motorcycles and posted EUR480 million in revenues in 2011. [source: Autonews]