Ducati For Sale? Who Would Be Interested In Buying It?
If VW make Ducati for sale, four companies are waiting to pick up the pieces
Updated August 21, 2018
We’ve got more fuel for the rumor fire: it seems like Audi (or rather, Volkswagen) might seriously be preparing Ducati for sale. According to reports from Bloomberg, the auto giant has received some substantial interest from a number of enthusiastic companies and investment firms since Ducati was rumored to be for sale. The potential sale of Ducati shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though, since Volkswagen had already mentioned it was on the cards as far back as early 2016. Back then, VW teamed up with Evercore Partners to weigh up the pros and cons of keeping the Italian firm within the fold, or putting Ducati up for sale.
However, over the last two years Volkswagen hasn’t exactly been doing great. You might have heard of a little thing that the kids are calling “Dieselgate” and apparently that’s caused VW quite the financial headache. In brief, VW owes a lot of money to a lot of people, and Ducati isn’t exactly one of their core businesses – but it is a profitable business, and one that could easily be sold off to help bank VW a few precious Euros.
It’s probably for that reason that four big companies have reportedly expressed an interest in buying Ducati. Ducati’s worldwide sales are up, the brand has grown to epic proportions, and the profits are coming in thick and fast. So who (apparently) wants to buy Ducati?
Ducati For Sale? Who Wants To Buy It?
The most popular name being thrown around at the moment is Eicher Motors. You probably haven’t heard of Eicher Motors, but you will have heard of one of their subsidiaries: Royal Enfield. It would be cool to see Ducati and Royal Enfield being sold side by side. In a lot of respects, they have a similar branding direction, a legacy to build on, and they’re both being aimed at a younger audience these days. They’re in entirely different zip codes when it comes to performance, but that doesn’t mean much. If Eicher Motors won the bid, it wouldn’t be bad for Ducati at all.
Next up, there’s a lot of talk about Hero MotoCorp – formerly Hero Honda. Apparently, Indian based Hero MotoCorp are considering a bid. They’re an automotive giant on the sub-continent, and there’s no denying their sales figures but let’s look at a recent tragedy…Hero bought a 49% stake in EBR a few years ago, and that didn’t exactly do the American superbike firm many favors. Ducati definitely wouldn’t go the same way, but would the change in parent company be enough to shake buyer confidence? We’d like to think “not” but people are funny creatures.
The last two names being bandied about are private equity firms. First up, there’s CBC Capital partners, an equity giant with more than enough capital to keep Ducati on the straight and narrow for years to come. And lastly, there’s Permira – another private equity company – who have a number of big investments notched into their bedposts. But whether or not they’re up to the challenge of laying down more than $1 billion to buy Ducati is up for debate.
Will It Happen Though?
None of this is even official – it’s all speculation and reports from people in the know, or industry insiders. And that could really mean anyone from a Ducati board member to Janet who makes the coffee. Or they could be completely fictional altogether. Putting Ducati for sale is a gamble and a decision that VW won’t take lightly.
We hope Volkswagen keeps hold of Ducati. It’s all been going rather swimmingly recently.