Audi to Announce Purchase of Ducati Next Week

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Reports are coming in that Audi’s acquisition of Ducati is all but done, and just needs to the ink to dry. With the announcement of the purchase expected to come next week (Wednesday if you believe some reports), the German manufacturer has reportedly finished its due diligence on the acquisition, and found no major obstacles to the purchase.

With previous reports going back and forth as to whether Audi (read: the Volkswagen Group) would purchase only a controlling interest in Ducati Motor Holding, or would completely buyout Investindustrial’s 70% stake in the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, other reports are now saying that Investindustrial is only interested in talking to Audi about the acquisition.

This news points to only two possibilities, though moves the ball no further in our understanding of what sort of terms the German auto manufacturer and the Italian private equity firm are including in their purchase agreement. Able to give Audi the 51% controlling stake it needs to run Ducati without interference, Investindustrial could hold onto the remaining 19% of equity, which would be a lucrative opportunity if the firm believes that Audi’s involvement with the iconic Italian brand would dramatically improve Ducati’s value.

The other option is a complete divestiture of Investindustrial from Ducati Motor Holding, leaving Audi to own 70% of Ducati while private equity fund BS owns 20% of Ducait’s stock and the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan own roughly 7% of the company.

At this time there has been no news on the purchase price of Ducati, though a figure of €850 million to €875 million would be in the ballpark. Originally valued by Investindustrial at €1 billion, Audi is reported to have initially offered €750 million for the Italian motorcycle maker. The €875 million figure is conveniently the middle point between those two bargaining positions, though it has not been made clear what percentage of ownership it represents.

With this transaction seemingly a done deal, Audi will be able to announce the purchase in time for its upcoming quarterly meeting. More information as we get it, and stay tuned next week.

Source: Reuters