VW Group May Sell Ducati As It Continues To Streamline

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Volkswagen is considering options for its motorcycle brand Ducati as it seeks to streamline its portfolio, two people familiar with the matter said.

The business news publication also states that VW has already started contacting potential buyers to gauge interest in Ducati.

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The iconic marque was bought in 2012 by Audi, a VW subsidiary, but now Europe's largest vehicle maker is looking to streamline its operations following the "Dieselgate" crisis and is reigning in spending in all areas. An Audi spokesman declined to comment, while Evercore couldn't immediately comment. A banker close to the industry said potential buyers were likely to offer VW more than €1 billion (14.5 billion).

The sources told the news agency that the brand may approach its peers in China, Hero MotoCorp or other investors.

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The possible sale of Ducati, now owned by Audi, comes as part of the Volkswagen Group's company-wide expenditure audit. Private equity firms may also be interested in this brand with a rich track record. The plan is to rein in spending across the VW Group and includes job cuts at its core passenger auto brand to help multi-billion Euros shift to the fast-expanding electric cars space and sustainable mobility services. It seemed to boil down to the passion for Ducati of former VW Chairman, Ferdinand Piech.

Should Ducati fail to find a buyer, Volkswagen may consider a stock market flotation to raise funds.

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The logo of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati is seen in Dietlikon, Switzerland October 11, 2016. In 2016, Ducati posted sales of 593 million Euros in 2016 (over Rs 4,000 crore), selling over 55,000 motorcycles worldwide. In March, after being asked to Chief Executive Matthias Mueller that where the decision to sell Ducati stands now, the top honcho said that there is nothing to announce as of now.