German luxury carmaker, Audi, has agreed to buy Italian exotic bike-maker, Ducati, for 1.12 billion USD (860 million euros). The acquisition is underway, and includes Audi absorbing all Ducati’s financial liabilities, around 264 million USD (200 million euros). As part of Volkswagen’s ‘Project Eagle’ growth plan, the German giant’s luxurious brand, Audi has been keen to add the legend that is Ducati. This historic corporate transaction makes Ducati the 11th automotive brand in VW’s portfolio.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman, Board of Management of Audi AG said “Ducati has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.” Andrea Bonomi, Chairman, Investindustrial, who had earlier expressed the time-is-right to rope in a ‘world-class partner’ for Ducati recently said “we are convinced that Ducati will continue to provide a bright and rewarding future to its customers and employees in the very capable hands of Audi. We believe that Audi is the best partner to continue the globalization process that has already been successfully initiated.”
Bonomi got behind the handlebars at Ducati six years ago since when he has steered them from reported revenues of 403 million USD (305 million euros) in 2006 to 634 million USD (480 million euros) in 2011 with about 80 percent of this flowing in from foreign markets. Having sold over 42,000 motorcycles globally last year, Ducati now commands 11 percent of its market share. Besides its Bologna, Italy headquarters, the company has also started an assembly plant in Thailand in 2011.
Ducati is still new to India, where is has yet to achieve its potential in our massive market that is increasingly being acknowledged as amongst the more important, key markets to attaining global two-wheeled success.
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