Reuters continues to dish on Ducati’s possible divestiture from the Volkswagen Group, with news that several bids have been placed on the Italian motorcycle brand. Reuters says that amongst the bidders are several key brands like, Polaris, Bajaj, and Royal Enfield’s owners Eicher Motors.
Noticeably absent from the list of potential buyers however was the much talked-about Harley-Davidson, a name that the same Reuters reporters first offered as Ducati’s potential future owner.
Now Reuters offers us another name as the likely front-runner, pointing to Italy’s Benetton family (as in, the United Colors of Benetton), which has reportedly submitted a bid of $1.2 billion, through its investment arm Edizione Holding.
The additional list of players that Reuters offers is an interesting one, namely because of the absence of Harley-Davidson from the list of possible buyers, though given their second quarter performance figures, this shouldn’t really surprise anyone.
Another interesting note is the inclusion of Eicher Motors, the company behind Royal Enfield. Eicher Motors CEO Siddhartha Lal has already denied having interest in buying Ducati though, citing the purchase price as being beyond the Indian company’s means.
The other names are already industry players. Bain Capital has investments in already in Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Bajaj Auto is partnered with KTM in making motorcycles (Bajaj also owns nearly half of KTM’s motorcycle business), and Polaris is already a major US player in the powersports industry with its Indian Motorcycle brand.
However, whether those three firms are interested in doubling-down on the struggling motorcycle industry is a question worthy of asking.
Outside of the powersports industry, Reuters reports that Investindustrial, CVC Capital Partners, Advent, and PAI have all made bids on Ducati.
With a number of potential bidders, the Volkswagen Group could narrow down that list down by this coming weekend, with a second round of bidding.
Whether or not the Volkswagen Group will actually sell Ducati is up for debate, and that debate likely will center around how much money we’re talking about.