Automaker Audi AG, a Volkswagen brand, announced Wednesday that it is buying Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. from Investindustrial Group.
Numerous reports indicate the purchase price was $1.1 billion, though the joint press release distributed by Volkswagen and Ducati did not indicate a price. Both the Supervisory Boards of Audi AG and Volkswagen AG approved the purchase from Hamburg, Germany. The deal will close as soon as competition authorities authorize it.
Ducati, which has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna, Italy, and a factory in Thailand, will become the third pillar for Audi in northern Italy, joining Lamborghini and Italdesign.
"Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi," said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG.
Peter Mosch, chairman of the General Works Council of Audi AG, added, "We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi -- and that's exactly what we're doing. Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati."
Audi delivered 1.3 million Audi brand cars to customers in 2011. Last year, the company also posted revenue of €44.1 billion ($57.9 billion) and an operating profit of €5.3 billion ($7.0 billion). The company employs 64,000 worldwide and is active in more than 100 markets.
Ducati, which employs about 1,100 people, finished 2011 with a 43 percent year-over-year motorcycle sales increase. The company sold about 42,000 motorcycles last year and generated €480 million ($629.8 million) in revenue.
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Copyright 2012 Powersports Business