The First Ducati Bids Are In – But Who Are The Big Players?
According to Reuters, the first Ducati bids are in – but some names are noticeably absent…
Published July 21, 2017
If a recent report from Reuters is to be believed, several interesting bids have reportedly been placed on the iconic Italian motorcycle firm. Naturally, we advise you to take everything with a grain of salt for the time being, but the news comes from Reuters and they’re a fairly reliable source – even so, here’s the latest news on the Ducati bids and the company’s potential new owners… Some of the names mentioned are ones we would’ve guessed easily, but there are a few curve balls in there. The several key brands that already have interests in the motorcycle industry are: Polaris, Bajaj and Eicher Motors (the company that own Royal Enfield).
Harley-Davidson A No-Show At The Ducati Bid
We were already aware of the interest from the above companies…but we were also aware of another key player in the industry: a certain Harley-Davidson. If Reuters are to be believed, then HD have not submitted a bid for Ducati. This is hardly a surprise considering Harley-Davidson’s disappointing Q1 and Q2 sales figures from this year, and the financial issues that will inevitably follow – but after all the hype, we expected at least a token bid to be placed by them. Ah well, it looks like we can all breathe easier for the time being… But who else is on the list?
Well, Reuters have offered up a surprising name as the current favorite to win the Ducati bid: the Benetton family. Italy’s famous Benetton family are the name behind the United Colors of Benetton, and according to the report from Reuters, they’ve reportedly put down a staggering $1.2 billion on the Ducati bid, via its investment department called Edizione Holding. So far, the Benetton connection seems plausible, but we thought that about Harley-Davidson up until a couple of weeks ago.
Eicher Motors, or the parent of Royal Enfield, is an interesting talking point though. After the first wave of speculation about who would be bidding, Eicher Motors boss Siddartha Lal explained to the press about how Ducati was too expensive for his company to purchase. That was obviously a diversionary tactic considering as Eicher Motors have placed a solid bid on Ducati.
Who Else Has Made A Bid?
Bain Capital who already have a big stake in Bombardier Recreation Products are also on the “legit Ducati bid” list, alongside Bajaj Auto (who are partnered with KTM), and Polaris, who have just set a new land speed record thanks to their Indian Motorcycle brand. Of those three contenders, only Bajaj seems like it could win a bid. Bain Capital could do it, but it wouldn’t fit in with BRP and their existing products. Polaris had to close Victory down earlier on this year, so buying another company seems unusual. Bajaj…now we could see that working.
But of course, to see that happen they’d have to win the prestigious Ducati bid, which has also attracted plenty of other names from outside of the motorcycle industry, including Investindustrial, Advent, CVC Capital Partners, and PAI. All four of those investment companies are said to have made bids too. However, Volkswagen may not even sell Ducati at all. There’s a good chance that they’ll only sell Ducati for the right price, and if no one makes the right bid, all of this conjecture and speculation will have been for nothing. And we’re hoping that that’s the case.
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.