Audi said today that its supervisory boards had approved the acquisition of Ducati during the company’s shareholder meeting in Germany.
Audi has posted a press release on its website stating that “the transaction [with current owner Investindustrial] will be completed as quickly as possible once authorized by the competition authorities. ... Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for Audi AG in Northern Italy.”
Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio hinted at the probable timeline in a separate statement, saying regulatory authorization "should take place in the coming months."
Rupert Stadler is chairman of Audi’s board of management. “[Ducati] has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers,” he said. “That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.”
Audi claimed that the progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character, and Ducati’s extensive know-how in lightweight construction offer great potential for Audi and the Volkswagen Group.
“We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi — and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” stated Peter Mosch, chairman of Audi’s General Works Council. “Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati.”
Ducati has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna and at its own factory in Thailand. It also maintains a series of importer companies in strategic markets. Audi noted that experts predict that the motorcycle market will enjoy strong growth over the next few years, especially in Asia.
In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some 480 million euros, employing around 1,100 people.
The company was founded by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna in 1926 and initially built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949.
Ducati has been actively involved in motorcycle racing for many decades through its racing division, Ducati Corse. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams. Ducati won the manufacturers’ championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships.
Audi to buy Ducati, Reuters reports
Posted by Arlo Redwine
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