During the presentation of the Ducati Diesel in Rome last week, Gabriel Del Torchio was asked his opinion on Investindustrial Holdings wanting to sell Ducati, and the President as everyone expected was pretty vague and slippery on the subject.
Del Torchio, however did say that even if Andrea Bonomi told the Financial Times that he wants to sell the Italian company, it doesn’t mean that he’ll really will sell and there are still ongoing negotiations which could also include putting Ducati back on the stock market, with the time frame calculated in months and certainly not days.
Now, according to Italy’s Correrie di Bologna.it, the private equity firm that holds around 70% of Ducati (private equity Bs holds the other 20% and Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan holds another 7%) has received an offer of €750 million from the Wolkswagen Group who wants to add the Italian company to their prestigious line-up - and the amount is very near to the supposed asking price of €832 million.
During Volkwagen diligence regarding Ducati’s exposure with the various banks, it seems that the company’s liabilities are much lower that the €200 million that were bandied around, and this offer from the German automative giant would double Investindustrial’s 2005 investment when they bought Ducati from Texas Pacific Group.
How are the majority of Italians taking this sale? They are more or less resigned to the fact that Ducati will be going into foreign hands, while incensed racing fans are asking if Audi does buy Ducati can they fire Valentino Rossi for incompetence.