Got an extra 1 billion pounds lieing around? Ducati Motorcycles reportedly is up for sale once again, with Investindustrial looking for a cool billion pounds for the Italian marque.
Investindustrial, a private-equity group backed by the Bonomi family, reportedly is looking to sell Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati for 1 billion Euro ($1.32 billion U.S.). According to Reuters, Investindustrial’s chairman Andrea Bonomi believes a “world-class industrial partner” is needed to support the growing company and several entities had already expressed interest. Two of the names mentioned at the top of the prospective buyers list are the Indian motorcycle group Mahindra and German auto manufacturer Volkswagen.
Founded in 1926 by the Ducati brothers, Adriano, Bruno and Marcello, the original Ducati shop sold radio components, condensers, and vacuum tubes. In 1946, the company began producing sportbikes. It remained under Ducati family control until 1950, and has since had multiple owners. Its current investors, Investindustrial Holdings, bought the company in 2005.
The Italian marque claimed an impressive 43% in motorcycle sales in North American in 2011 compared to the year prior, with sales of its Diavel and Multistrada leading the way. The territory was also declared Ducati’s number one market in 2011 for the first time ever. Anticipation surrounding the release of its 1199 Panigale superbike is already creating a buzz in 2012.
This is not the first time the Bonomi family has flirted with selling the company. According to the Reuter’s report, Investindustrial entered a Hong Kong public listing for Ducati in 2011 also. It’s known that one of Ducati’s strongest potential suitors, Volkswagen, has a fan in the form of its chairman, Ferdinand Piech, who reportedly rides a Ducati and has expressed regrets for not swooping up the company before when he could have bought it for next to nothing.