Press Releases: Ducati Motor Holding Acquired by Audi

Following weeks of speculation, it was today announced that Audi AG, part of the Volkswagen AG automative conglomerate, has acquired Ducati Motor Holding from Investindustrial, the private equity firm that owned Ducati. The agreement is still subject to approval by the European Union's Competition Commission, but it is unlikely to be refused such approval. The purchase is highly unlikely to have any immediate impact on either of Ducati's racing programs.

Below are press releases from Ducati, Audi and Investindustrial about the purchase:


Acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding by Audi Group

I am pleased to deliver the attached press releases issued today by Audi Group and by the Investindustrial Group regarding the planned change in ownership of Ducati Motor Holding.

The transaction, as reported in the releases, is subject to approval by the competent antitrust authorities and should take place in the coming months.

I am confident that the Audi Group will allow Ducati to continue strengthening its position in markets around the world. The announcement confirms the positive reinforcement of Ducati made ​​in 2006 under the control of the Investindustrial Group.

Yours sincerely

Gabriele Del Torchio


AUDI AG acquires sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

- Chairman Rupert Stadler: "As a sporty, global premium brand, Ducati is an excellent fit for Audi."

- Third pillar for AUDI AG in Italy

- Ducati a leading player in engine technology and lightweight construction

Ingolstadt/Bologna, April 18, 2012 - AUDI AG is acquiring from Investindustrial Group the tradition-steeped Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., which has its registered office in Bologna. The transaction will be completed as quickly as possible once authorized by the competition authorities. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition today in Hamburg. Ducati is known worldwide as a leading brand in motorcycle manufacture, with outstanding expertise in engine development and lightweight construction.

Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for AUDI AG in Northern Italy. Another building block in the Company's growth strategy thus falls into place. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, declared: "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." The progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character, and Ducati's extensive know-how in lightweight construction thus offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, explains that the employee representatives of AUDI AG support the Company's sustainable, codetermined growth strategy. "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," commented Mosch.

Ducati is a globally active company and has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna and at its own factory in Thailand. It maintains a series of importer companies in strategic markets. Experts predict that the motorcycle market will enjoy strong growth over the next few years, especially in Asia. In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million, employing around 1,100 people.

The company was founded by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna in 1926. Known originally as Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati, it initially built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949.

Ducati has been actively involved in motorcycle racing for many decades through its racing division Ducati Corse. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams. Ducati won the manufacturers' championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships and the pilots' 14 times.


INVESTINDUSTRIAL SELECTS AUDI AS THE NEW OWNER OF DUCATI

April 18, 2012 - International Motorcycles S.p.A, a subsidiary of the Investindustrial Group ("Investindustrial"), has today agreed to the sale of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A ("Ducati") to Audi AG, part of the Volkswagen Group. The acquisition is subject to antitrust clearance.

Ducati, founded in 1926 and based in Borgo Panigale (Italy), is a leading motorcycles designer and manufacturer which boasts a rich racing heritage in the MotoGP World Championship and the Superbike World Championship.

In 2011, Ducati sold 42,200 units, resulting in an 11% global market share, and generated revenues of €480 million at the best-in-class profitability.

Since the acquisition by Investindustrial in 2006, Ducati has been turned around with great success into one of the best and most profitable motorcycle brands in the world. The company successfully launched a globalisation process which led the company to open a factory in Thailand in 2011 and to expand into new fast growing markets, such as Brazil, China and India. As of today, 80% of Ducati's sales come from foreign markets and at the end of 2011 the Group recorded the highest turnover and EBITDA in its history.

The creation of industrial value is demonstrated by strong growth across the company: under Investindustrial's ownership, Ducati's revenues grew from €305 million in 2006 to €480 million in 2011, EBITDA rose from €27 million in 2006 to €94 million in 2011 and resulted in positive EBIT of €51 million from €5 million in the year of the acquisition. The number of employees increased from 1,043 in 2006 to 1,135 in 2011.

In recent years, under the guidance of the management team, led by CEO Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati has also developed the most exciting and up-to-date product range in its history by launching 17 new models including the Multistrada 1200 in 2010, the Diavel in 2011 and more recently the Panigale superbike. These achievements have contributed to a significant increase in motorcycle sales, rising from 35,300 in 2006 to 42,200 at the end of 2011.

Ducati also achieved great success in the world of racing: in Super Bike, Ducati won 4 Riders World titles (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011) and 3 Constructors World titles (2006, 2008 and 2011) and a total of 68 wins. In MotoGP, Ducati won 28 races, a Riders World title and a Constructors World title in 2007.

Andrea C. Bonomi, Chairman of Investindustrial commented:

"Ducati has thrived with us as a result of the intensive industrial turnaround and the commercial push into new, fast-growing markets. We are convinced that the company will continue to provide a bright and rewarding future to its customers and employees in the very capable hands of Audi. We believe that Audi is the best partner to continue the globalisation process that has already been successfully initiated.

The management team, led by Gabriele Del Torchio, and the Ducati's skilled and passionate workforce have been a key element in turning the company into a global brand with some of the most exciting motorcycle models currently on the market. I am convinced Audi will be a responsible new owner, preserving the Italian workforce's technology skills for a bright future for the Company. Ducati has a loyal and growing customer base, which will be well looked after thanks to Audi and Volkswagen Group's global presence and engineering excellence.

This transaction is the second purchase in only a few months of an Investindustrial group company by a strategic buyer, the other being the sale of the leading cladding and architectural envelope group Permasteelisa to JS Group of Japan."

Audi's decision to acquire Ducati confirms the effectiveness of Investindustrial group's strategy of investing in Italy, which is home to many quality companies. These companies are poised to develop into globally-operating and high-quality brands if properly guided and nurtured.

Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, a leading Canadian investor and BS Investimenti, also sold their stakes in Ducati to Audi AG.

Studio Chiomenti advised the seller on legal matters.

About Investindustrial

Investindustrial is a leading European investment group with approximately €3 billion of assets under management, which provides industrial solutions and capital to mid-market companies in the region. Its mission is to actively contribute to the development of the companies in which it invests, by creating growth opportunities and offering global solutions through an active ownership and entrepreneurial vision. Certain companies of the Investindustrial group are authorized by, and subject to regulatory supervision of the FSA and the JFSC in the United Kingdom and the CSSF in Luxembourg.

Additional information is available at www.investindustrial.com.

About Audi AG

Audi AG, part of Volkswagen AG, is a world-leading manufacturer of premium cars. Audi already owns the Italian supercar brand Lamborghini, located near Ducati in a region of automotive excellence and tradition in Northern Italy.

Additional information is available at www.audi.com

2012

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Comments

Edit: Apparently I need to learn how to read! Oh well. I give Preziosi 1 more years to make something happen!

I wonder if this will mean anything for Preziosi's employment? Could there be a huge shakeup in key engineering staff??

re: "I wonder if this will mean anything for Preziosi's employment?

hopefully it means a raise and an increase in budget. magic rarely happens when one is underfunded. see entry for honda's million dollar gearbox.

"Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, a leading Canadian investor and BS Investimenti, also sold their stakes in Ducati to Audi AG."

A Canadian investor owned a significant (at least significant enough to be mentioned in the press release) stake in Ducati? Why did I not know this earlier? I've been looking for an excuse to buy a Duc and now I can use my nationality to rationalize a patriotic purchase. Come to think of it even their racing colours are Canadian. Slap a maple leaf on the tank and I'm in!

What a joyous day.

Scott, Winnipeg, CANADA

Not a chance. This is about global marketing, not strictly confined to GP success.
The supersquare D8, the CF chassis,the lightweight, the Desmosedici etc.
I reckon it will be good for Ducati especially in terms of quality control.
Inasmuch as the GP story within the story is concerned, Audi have no hands on experience of 2 wheel racing, but one could expect them to to do a little analysis in search of the silver bullit fix. More likely Rossi's head to roll than Preziosi's. But ! Its early days. For the time being Audi will view this from a distance and see how it unfolds. It's not like they have Audi badged all over the
GP bike like Fiat did when they called the shots to a certain extent with Yamaha.

>>I reckon it will be good for Ducati especially in terms of quality control.
Inasmuch as the GP story within the story is concerned, Audi have no hands on experience of 2 wheel racing, but one could expect them to to do a little analysis in search of the silver bullit fix.<<

Agreed (on both accounts).

As a Ducati owner myself, I'm happy with the news.
I hope the quality control and all post-selling services can gain something (improve) with this.
Maybe VW/Audi will direct some cash (and/or resources) into the Ducati MotoGP program, which is always good knowing their current situation with the bike's development.

Preziosi's role on Ducati goes deeper and further in the past than just the MotoGP program. Not impossible but it's doubtfull his job is at risk.

Are AMG a sponsor of Ducati or a personal sponsor of Rossi? If Ducati, it will lead to an interesting tie up with Audi as new owners.

The Ducati release from '10 doesn't mention the length of the partnership, but Rossi and Hayden both have AMG logos on their uniforms and bikes, and Ducati has placed it's bikes in the Mercedes booth at some of the car shows. They even build a special edition Diavel AMG to celebrate the partnership.

I'd guess that there's probably not much they can do about getting the logos off the uniforms until the agreement expires - I'm assuming there's signed legal documents for this.

http://ducati.com/news/amg_and_ducati__performance_to_the_max/2010/12/02...

http://www.ducati.com/bikes/diavel/diavel_amg/index.do

Logo on bike:
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/pb-120405-nicky-...

Logo on NH:
http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Nicky+Hayden+MotoGp+Qatar+Qualifying+...

There's a hilarious but entertaining comment posted by PIT BULL that "More likely Rossi's head to roll than Preziosi's". Ha Ha Ha, Hilarious.....if Rossi leaves Ducati, it'll be by his own choice, not by being fired by Ducati.

Rossi will never be fired......and I think it's safe to say that many people are starting to question Preziosi's genius....

...the darndest things here. It was just a day or two ago when one of the two poster children for bile-spewing, hate-frenzied, bitter old men here on MM (I can't recall if it was the "ALL CAPS dog/bike stand" guy or the "misspelled phony fortune-teller" guy) said that there was NO WAY Audi would TOUCH Ducati, because Rossi single-handedly shredded Ducati in the eyes of prospective buyers with his half-hearted, washed-up, has-been performance.

Turns out his fortune telling isn't any better than his spelling (or the fortune telling of his (sic) namesake).

David stated it clearly that the Rossi haters are more annoying than his fans ever were, and he even called out one of the two biggest vitriol geysers/clattering buttocks for being so trite and tiresome.

Bottom line: we'll write what we damn well want to, and hell with the trolls and bitter old men. They'll eventually go back to their lives of mailing monthly alimony checks, eating lots of TV dinners and frequenting the dirty picture websites if we just ignore them.

We only see what we're allowed to see from Ducati. For all the obvious and readily visible concessions they've made, we don't have the list of the ones they've chosen not to do. They look verrrrrrrrry dedicated from the outside, but how much of what was requested has been furnished? It's like saying that you'd want to be married to Elle MacPherson or Kylie or Marisa Miller or (shudder) Pamela Anderson...but you have precisely NO clue of what they look like first thing in the morning, or if they release industrial-waste-smelling farts when they're asleep, or if they have excessive nose hair that constantly has to be trimmed (or edited out of photos), because they're all dolled up whenever they're in public. We're only seeing what Ducati want us to see, so none of us can say that they're doing things "correctly". For sure, they are working HARD, but are they doing what is being requested and suggested? I think most would say yes, but only about those things which we know. There's much more going on behind the curtain than we know, and I think that at this point, Rossi cares "not a sausage" about being the "Won on Three Marques" guy so much as just being the one who is back to fighting for wins. If ANY brand bike was available that would have him dogfighting for victories, I think he'd jump on it. He wants to win, knows he can, but not on this bike. There's no harm nor foul in admitting that. More notches in the "W" column are, I believe, THE biggest goal for him, regardless of bike.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. I often am. But I don't think now is one of those times.

I think it's far better if we are all respectful to each other, even though we may disagree (it would be boring if we all agreed on everything). If someone wants to be bold and say they still think VR's a class rider, they should be allowed to without all the tribal bile kicking in. It doesn't mean the other brave and talented riders aren't class as well.

I like this as a site for grown-ups, not the school playground! Don't we all want to see good racing (and discussion here), not an F1 style techno-procession?

BTW, I don't want to marry any of those women, I'd have the press hacking my phone (although Elle would probably blame me).

Hard to take the news that I will be without the latest Swiftnick gossip and controversy. :D

re: "I think it's safe to say that many people are starting to question Preziosi's genius"

the only thing is safe to say is people are ignorant/uninformed more often than not (nature of the beast). however (comma) all's it takes is one look at the panigale to be reminded of his genius.

- ............."As a sporty, global premium brand, Ducati is an excellent fit for Audi."
-..............''Ducati a leading player in engine technology and lightweight construction''
-..............''is one of the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturers.''

bla bla bala $$$$$$$$ yes this is marketing.
Does marketing have some space for my horny right hand ?
Lock your garage .

I'm not convinced this is necessarily a good thing for the MGP effort. I think it would be natural for a new owner to examine the books of all parts of the organisation, how much money is going where and what return it is getting. Recently Ducati MGP has spent big and delivered nothing but negative publicity for Ducati.

Not wishing to be too stereotypical, but Germans are known for their efficiency and logic. What Ducati have is an uncompetitive bike in a series with unstable technical regulations. The most logical thing would be to withdraw, focus back on something Ducati is good at (WSB) then consider a return to MGP once the rules have been sorted out.

If I owned ducati I would do exactly that, dump the MGP thing, go full factory in WSB and try to erase the bad publicity by winning with the no-frame Panigale. Meanwhile take 1 cylinder of the D16 and make a Moto3 engine, and let someone else worry about making the chassis. They would hopefully regain their high profile in WSB and retain a foot in the door of MGP with an engine configuration that - drawing a very long bow - actually harks back to some of their earlier bikes (desmo singles).

Just my $0.02

With them under direct control of Audi, a company more than willing to pour money into racing efforts, I think it's a very good thing indeed. I cannot imagine Audi being ok with a subsidiary withdrawing in shame any more than they would the 4 rings.

I'd say expect to see changes in the racing efforts, but changes that make winning a priority over masturbatory claims of "We can't change that! It's our heritage!"

Nothing detrimental to the MotoGP effort should occur this year, any changes either way will be announced later in the season in my opinion.
Audi will have inherited contracts and I am sure that they are intending to honour them.

I really don't see what the benefit of this aquisition is to Audi to be honest, it is really like a brand adornment more than a hard nosed business decision.

Unless they intend to move Ducati into other two wheeled market niches such as large scooters etc, I can't see the volumes matching their aspirations?

The VW group aquisition of Porsche is beginning to show some brand cross fertilisation, much to the dismay of some Porsche dealers and customers, if this happens with Ducati, it may be that the loyal owner base could be similarly disenchanted?

re: "I really don't see what the benefit of this aquisition is to Audi to be honest. it is really like a brand adornment more than a hard nosed business decision."

or is it...? while the lay person might translate the above word as "motorcycle", warren buffet translates this word as "durable competitive advantage". welcome to CARWAR$.

No way I can argue with a confident man. All apologies regarding the gead game dog CAPS LOCK. Where's your betting money future hence DucatiGP ? Audi/VW.
Just asking. Excuse my English,it ain't my native tongue.

King Crimson and a great number they penned and did. 21st Century Schizoid Man. Relevant then and even more relevant now.
'Nothing he's got he really needs...21st Century Schizoid Man'.
Much like Audi don't need Ducati and Ducati after 18 months don't need Rossi.
Strictly business and Euro Zone attempts at salvation. GO VALE !
Sure,fuel restrictions ,mass compensation and electronic intervention join the bucket list alongside +30 riders growing older and clealy slower.
Your comments,King Crimson. Over to you. Just keep your heart in your wallet !