Volkswagen eyes options for motorbike brand Ducati

Volkswagen eyes options for motorbike brand Ducati

VW has tasked investment banking boutique Evercore with evaluating possible options, they said, including a sale of the Ducati brand, which its Audi division acquired for about €860 million (then R9 billion) in 2012. According to Reuters, Volkswagen has already approached potential buyers however a final decision of the fate of Ducati is still pending.

The iconic marque was bought in 2012 by Audi, a VW subsidiary, but now Europe's largest vehicle maker is looking to streamline its operations following the "Dieselgate" crisis and is reigning in spending in all areas. Audi and Evercore declined to comment.

Potential buyers could be its peers in China, India's Hero or investors such as the consortium that bought British sports auto maker Aston Martin in 2007, the report said.

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Back in June 2016, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler had denied the rumours of sale of Ducati brand to settle the dues of Volkswagen's dieselgate fiasco.

In October a year ago, VW Group Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch categorically denied rumors that Volkswagen could sell Ducati or truck manufacturers Scania and Man. It seemed to boil down to the passion for Ducati of former VW Chairman, Ferdinand Piech.

"It is an asset for trophy buyers with bigger interest in the brand than in the technology", one of the people said.

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Frontrunners to take control of the Italian brand include Chinese and Indian firms, or private equity firms, with analysts unable to confirm if rival motorcycle brands like Harley Davidson or Kawasaki had shown any interest.

Should Ducati fail to find a buyer, Volkswagen may consider a stock market flotation to raise funds.

A long list for a company that is moving full steam ahead, having recorded a turnover of 593 million euro in 2016.

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