VW are said to have appointed investment specialists Evercore, who are apparently evaluating possible options for the sale after VW’s Audi division purchased the brand in 2012. Although the exact price has never been confirmed, the 2012 purchase of Ducati was said to be worth approximately 860 million Euro.
Reuters says their source told them that Ducati have annual earnings of 100 million Euro before tax, which would give the company a valuation of between 1 to 1.5 billion Euro.
Aside from ‘dieselgate’, one of the other reasons for the potential sale is that motorcycle fan and former VM Chairmain Ferdinand Piech, who was instrumental in the purchase of Ducati, is no longer part of the business. With him out of the picture, it would come as no surprise if Ducati joined the list of other non-core assets that are up for sale.
As for potential purchasers, the three that leap to mind are American giant Polaris, which owns Indian and either Hero MotoCorp or Mahindra – two large Indian corporations that already have huge motorcycle businesses. Even in China some of the more established motorcycle companies could be interested…
We contacted Ducati about this and they said ‘it is Ducati’s policy not to comment on rumors in the media’.
While Ducati have changed ownership in the past – for example when sold to the Texas Pacific Group – they have always operated with a significant degree of autonomy. From that we would assume that if VW does sell Ducati, it wouldn’t have an immediate, or dramatic, impact on the product range.