Audi Buys Italy's Ducati

Deal will introduce Volkswagen to the top-end motorcycle market, open up new competition with BMW.

Germany upmarket auto firm Audi (IW 1000/79), owned by Volkswagen (IW 1000/10), said April 18 it is to buy Ducati, the Italian maker of some of the most sought after high-speed motorcycles in the industry.

"The deal will be completed as soon as possible after it is cleared by the authorities," Audi said in a statement.

It did not give financial details but press reports put the price at around $1.12 billion.

The deal will give Volkswagen an entry into the top-end motorcycle market, taking on its auto rival, BMW (IW 1000/37).

Ducati, established in Bolgna, northern Italy in 1926, is famous for its high-speed road and racing bikes, of which it sold 42,000 last year worth 480 million euros.

Investindustrial, an investment fund, has controlled the company since 2006 with a 70% stake.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also:
"Lifted by China, VW's Audi Reports Record First-Quarter Sales"
"Surging Demand for Passat Spurs Volkswagen to Add 800 Jobs in Tennessee"

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