Audi Buying Only Part of Ducati? Daimler Bows Out

04/03/2012 @ 6:05 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

More reports are starting to surface about Audi’s pending purchase of Ducati Motor Holding from Investindustrial. Said last month to have offered the private equity firm somewhere in the neighborhood of €750 million, Reuters is now reporting the figure to have been closer to the €870 million to €875 million range, which is closer to the original rumored offer of €850 million by the German automaker. What is most interesting in the report by Reuters is the notion that Audi is not making an offer to buy all of Investindustrial’s financial position in Ducati Motor Holding, which accounts for about 70% of the company.

Instead, Audi would seemingly be buying a controlling interest in the company, with Investindustrial reportedly looking to sell its remaining interest to another party. With rumors circulating that Daimler could be the second party to that purchase, the Stuttgart-based firm has denied any further interest in owning Ducati.  “We have no interest in a takeover of Ducati,” succinctly said a spokesman for Daimler in response to a report in Italy’s Corriere della Sera, which had suggested that the owner of Mercedes-Benz was looking at Ducati.

Despite AMG’s joint marketing effort with Ducati, Mercedes-Benz is said to have bowed out of the bidding on Ducati late last year, and it seems unreasonable to think of a situation where Daimler would co-invest with rival German car manufacturing group Volkswagen, who in turn owns Audi. With Daimler said to have passed on making a better offer to Investindustrial than Audi’s, it would seem the number of avenues for the Italian motorcycle company’s ownership are slowly converging to one path.

The news that Audi may not purchase all of Investindustrial’s position could still leave open the possibility for a public stock offering, though one has to ask the question whether Ducati is the right company to take its stock public. Even with the company selling exceptionally well last year and moving over 40,000 motorcycles worldwide, it still struggles with profitability at those volume figures.

Source: Reuters

  • AK

    I don’t care who own Ducati or control them… as long as they produce cool and innovative products I will continue my business with them.

  • RJ

    The problem with Ducati is the hole they are in is sooo big, that even with record sales years they STILL are in the red (no pun intended).

    It’s a good example at how it takes more than a good product to sustain a business.

    Good luck to the boys in Bologna, in GP’s and in the future.

  • Westward

    Maybe Lapo Elkann will purchase the rest. Fiat and Audi are not direct competitors, though VW is. Not sure if it will make much of a difference as Mercedes feels it is. I guess this means AMG will no longer sponsor them in Motogp. Audi is not a bad logo to have on ones livery…

  • Lapo Elkann isn’t a serious purchaser, just some Italian egomaniac looking to make headlines.

    I mean come on, Audi makes a fair offer on Ducati, and this guy comes along and says “well Ducati, if you come down on the price I’d make a bid.” Yeah, me too…

    There’s a snowball’s chance in hell of a private equity company selling to the lowest bidder, but Elkann gets some press and gets to play the “Italians owning Italian companies” card.

    I rolled my eyes at every publication that ran with that story. Donald Trump called, he wants his schtick back.

  • mxs

    Hold on a second … are you denying that the same dude was the guy behind Rossi’s massive Fiat support when he was riding Yamaha? If you don’t, whether the you like it or not, the guy has some power behind him. Secondly, what if he’s right that the price is too high? Many people would agree with him.

    BTW, he has never said sell to the lowest bidder …. yes sometimes the lowest bidder is the way to go for reasons unknown to you or me.

    Why does it feel that there’s more to it than you are saying … spill the beans.

  • Tom

    Is Ducati’s racing efforts what is putting them into the red? Selling 40,000 bikes should be enough volume to remain profitable. As an outsider, it looks like they are in more a need of a good accountant because who wants to buy a company perpetually in the red for $1billion+?

  • Westward

    Methinks the price was too high also. Let me get this straight, $875 Million, and Audi still would not own 100% of the Ducati, a company that sells 40k bikes in a good year..?

    I’d take Elkann over Trump, any day, and twice on any day…

  • Singletrack


    I think that’s how the the Germans pronounce Ducati already ;)