Did Audi Strike Deal with Italian Superbike Manufacturer Ducati?
It has long been known that Italian motorcycle manufacturers, Ducati has been looking for a new owner, and obviously there are many interested. According to a report from CAR magazine UK, it so happens that the number one suitor for the brand is Audi (not Volkswagen, Audi) with India’s Mahindra, Germany’s Mercedes-Benz, Daimler and ironically, Audi’s parent Volkswagen also in the running. But considering that a Ducati takeover by Audi, would automatically put it under the VW umbrella, we don’t see the ownership at Volkswagen complaining at this bit of news.
Audi has a bit of motorcycle heritage with former NSU and DKW brands and sources say that this is all part of Project Eagle, another brainchild of Volkswagen group scion Ferdinand Piech who has been interested in buying a prestigious motorcycle brand for some time. Ducati chairman Andrea Bonomi has in the past pointed out that he views ‘Ducati as the two-wheel equivalent of Audi‘ and in 2008, Piech said it was a mistake not to have bought Ducati when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy before.
Audi has never before been mentioned as a potential buyer, but according to rumors, the company has struck an exclusive deal, giving it first rights to buy Italian superbike manufacturer Ducati. Rumor has it that Ducati is hoping for a total purchase price of 850 million euros, or about 1.1 billion dollars – but that figure includes 800 million euros of debt, meaning the actual sale price of the brand itself would be just $65 million. The exclusivity deal is believed to give Audi until mid-April when the deal will likely be finalised.