Audi set to buy Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati
The news of Audi buying Ducati was initially reported by UK based automotive magazine CAR. The structure of the deal gives Audi first dibs on buying the motorcycle manufacturer. The deal is not going to be completed until sometime in April it seems, and Audi can decline to buy the company between now and then. However no other company can make an offer until then.
In my article “Ducati up for sale Mercedes-Benz AMG and VW interested” I initially reported that the Volkswagen Group was interested in buying Ducati including several other automakers. (Audi is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.)
Volkswagen Chairman, Ferdinand Piech, apparently regrets not buying Ducati when it could have been purchased for very little. Mr. Piech has considered reviving an Horex, a German motorcycle brand that built motorcycles over 60 years ago. He owns many Ducati motorcycles though which is probably one of the reasons the company is buying Ducati.
Audi and Ferdinand Piech will have their work cut off for them. While Ducati does claim over 10% of the global motorcycle market, that only equals around 40,000 motorcycles a year. That pales in comparison to 4 wheeled vehicle sales. Also Ducati has a massive amount of debt, around €800 million Euros, equivalent to $1 billion American dollars.