Companies Line Up To Buy Ducati
The line of possible buyers for Italian manufacturer Ducati just got a little longer, with Italy’s Benetton family the latest to express interest in the iconic motorcycle brand.
According to Reuters, the Benetton family which has business interests in a wide range of industries including fashion, transport, and hospitality has valued Ducati at $1.2 billion via the family’s investment vehicle, Edizione Holding, after Ducati’s 2016 revenues totaled 731 million Euros.
The Benetton family might be a romantic place for Ducati to eventually land, but there are plenty of other companies vying for Ducati’s hand in financial marriage. The most publicized of which has been Harley Davidson, however, according to the Reuters report, they have pulled out of the race to own Ducati after balking at the valuation, which Reuters sources say has reached $1.4 billion in some buyout funds. interest in Ducati, with Polaris reported being keen in picking up the brand after winding down their in house owned Victory Motorcycles earlier this year. buyout fund Bain Capital, who owns a stake in Ski Doo snowmobiles maker BRB, has also been touted as a potential buyer.
The booming Indian motorcycle market has produced two possible candidates for Ducati in Bajaj Auto and Eicher Motors. Bajaj owns 47 percent of KTM and produces small capacity motorcycles, scooters, and rickshaws for the Indian market, while Eicher Motors owns one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers in the world Royal Enfield with production beginning way back in 1893.
Chinese concern Loncin Motor initially showed interest in Ducati, however, they have remained quiet on the subject for some months.
One person who could mount a spirited charge for Ducati is former owner, Andrea Bonomi, founder of the Italian private equity fund Investindustrial. Bonomi sold Ducati to Volkswagen back in 2012 for a reported $860 million and is serious about taking control of the reigns once again, according to Reuters.
There are other private equity funds interested in Ducati, namely CVC Capital Partners the former owners of Formula One, having recently sold their interest to American’s Liberty Media Corporation.
Any sale of Ducati, however, would require the go ahead from Volkswagen’s influential labor unions, who control half of the 20 seats on the VW supervisory board. According to Reuters, these unions are vehemently opposed to any sale of the Ducati brand so even the just the sale, let alone who will get Ducati is still very much in the air.