Audi will buy Ducati for $1.1 billion, sources say

Article by Christian A., on April 18, 2012

It appears that all the rumors were true after all, as Audi is poised to buy the Italian motorcycle maker Ducati from owner Investindustrial for about 860 million euros ($1.1 billion). According to sources, the German manufacturer reached an agreement with Investindustrial, but the deal is set to be approved today, when Volkswagen’s supervisory board will meet.

As usual, Audi and Investindustrial declined to make any comments. Still, there was no secret that Volkswagen wants to buy Ducati as Chairman Ferdinand Piech publicly expressing interest in buying Ducati back in April 2008. For those who don’t know, Volkswagen lost out Ducati to Investindustrial.

If bought, Ducati will become Volkswagen’s 11th brand and will join marques such as Lamborghini and Bugatti but also heavy-duty truck manufacturers like Scania AB and MAN SE. Analysts believe that Ducati builds the finest motorcycles but don’t see it strategically significant for Volkswagen.  Ducati’s revenue is more than Lamborghini's and Bugatti's combined. Moreover, Volkswagen could take on Bmw, which makes Bmw and Husqvarna motorcycles.

Back in 2011, Ducati sold 42,000 motorcycles and had a revenue of 480 million euros. For those who don’t know, Ducati was founded back in 1926 and currently sells the Superbike, Monster, Streetfighter, Hypermotard, Multistrada and the new Diavel models in 65 countries. Last year, Ducati won the 2011 World Superbike Championship title and over the 60 years won 17 manufacturer's World Championship titles. [source: Autonews]

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