Audi to buy Ducati 'next week' - ReutersThu, 12 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Audi looks set to complete its purchase of superbike maker Ducati as early as next week, according to Reuters.
The news wire reports the deal could be finalised by 18 April 2012, the day before VW's annual shareholders meeting in Hamburg. Audi has been undertaking due diligence on the purchase of Ducati and the bean counters are reporting no obstacles to the deal.Why is Audi interested in buying Ducati?
As CAR reported in March 2012, buying a superbike brand like Ducati has been a pipedream of VW scion Ferdinand Piech for some time. The predicted asking price of €250-300 million is easily within reach for Audi parent company the VW group, hellbent on becoming the world's biggest vehicle manufacturer by 2018.
Piech has made no secret of his admiration for the illustrious motorcycle marque, believing that a closer understanding of the brand's lightweight, high-revving engines could pay dividends in Audi's four-wheeled products.
Also, bagging Ducati would open up yet another potential head-on fight between Audi and its Bavarian rivals - pitting it against BMW's successful motorcycle range.
Ducati is up for grabs thanks to mounting debts not covered by their annual production of around 40,000 motorcycles.Is there any stopping the VW Group's buy-out binge?
Volkswagen's enormous product portfolio, which spans from the Up city car to the super-exotic Bugatti Veyron, and everything in between, might indeed be reaching its optimum size, according to Piech.
Adding Ducati to the family would take the total number of VW group brands to 12, considered the perfect number of brands by Piech, according to Reuters.
Audi previously failed in an attempt to buy Ducati in 2005; the bid was rejected by then owners Texas Pacific Group in favour of an offer from European conglomerate Investindustrial.
An Audi spokesman declined to comment ahead of an official announcement.
By Ollie Kew