Volkswagen is considering a possible sale of Italian motorcycle maker Ducati as Europe’s largest carmaker streamlines operations to help fund a strategic overhaul following its emissions scandal, two people familiar with the matter said.
While Wolfsburg-based VW has started reaching out to potential buyers to sound out their interest, no decision has been taken on whether the brand will be sold, they added.
The motorbike maker may appeal to peers in China, India’s Hero or investors such as the consortium that bought British sports car maker Aston Martin in 2007.
Harley-Davidson enters race to buy Italian rival Ducati
U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is lining up a takeover bid for Italian rival Ducati, potentially bringing together two of the most famous names in motorcycling in a deal that could be worth up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion), sources told Reuters.
Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto and several buyout funds are also preparing bids for Ducati, which is being put up for sale by German carmaker Volkswagen.
A deal with Harley-Davidson would bring together the maker of touring bikes like the Electra Glide that are symbolic of America with a leading European maker whose high-performance bikes have a distinguished racing heritage.
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has hired Goldman Sachs to work on the deal, one source familiar with the matter said, adding tentative bids were expected in July.
Rueters has reported that along with Harley Davidson potentially being interested in Ducati, strategic bids have also been made by Benetton, U.S. buyout fund Bain Capital which owns a stake in Ski-Doo snowmobiles maker BRB, Indian carmaker Eicher who control Royal Enfield, Bajaj Auto, and U.S. automotive firm Polaris Industries.