According to various news reports, Audi has completed its acquistion of Ducati, and the deal, worth EU860 million ($1.1 billion) including debt, is expected to be announced tomorrow at their annual shareholders meeting. The deal is expected to see Audi, through its parent company, the Volkswagon Group, acquire the Italian motorcycle manufacturer for seven times what it earned in revenue in 2011. Approximately 200 million euros is reportedly to cover debt.
Reports suggest that the deal is one close to the heart of Volkswagon chairman, Ferdinand Piech, who has long been a fan of Ducati and reportedly owns one of their superbikes. The acquistion is also expected to increase VW’s brand portfolio and extend the german car manufacturers’ long-standing rivalry with BMW.
While some analysts predict that the deal will only serve to bolster Piech’s reputation as a collector of rare and exotic brands, the arrangement no doubt comes at an opportune time as Italian motorcycle manufacturer launched the prestigious 1199 Panigale superbike this year and is expected to continue to impress on the global stage. A company like Audi is well-positioned to take them there.