Harley-Davidson interested in buying Ducati

2017 Harley-Davidson Street Bob buying

Harley-Davidson is the latest motorcycle company to express an interest in buying Ducati and is expected to make a bid in July.

Global investment company Evercore, acting for Ducati, has sent out information packages to a number of motorcycle companies including Harley who has asked Goldman Sachs to look into the deal.

Other companies who have shown interest in buying Ducati include private equity firms, known for stripping assets, and Indian motorcycle manufacturers Eicher Motors who make Royal Enfield, TVS Motor Company, Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp.

TVS and Hero have stepped away from the deal because of the hefty price tag, while there are reports that BMW, Honda and Suzuki showed some interest but decided against bidding.

While no one is going on the record about the buyout, the reports have been covered in a range of reputable financial news services around the world.

The interest in Ducati by Harley seems strange.

Harley doesn’t have a good record with sports bikes having bought Buell only to close it down within a few short years.

The Milwaukee company also once bought fellow Italian sports bike company MV Agusta for $US109m and sold it two years later to the late Claudio Castiglione for about $5 after the GFC hit.

However, it may be a good fit given a HD executive once pointed out that a survey of their owners found that the most common second bike they owned was a Ducati.

Interestingly there have been a lot of rumours about Harley being bought out. They surface every now and then, but there has been no substance to them.

The Ducati buyout started in April when owner Volkswagen started looking for buyers to help pay off its multi-billion-dollar costs of the 2015 emissions scandal.

VW’s Audi division bought Ducati for $US1.12 billion in 2012, including $261 million in debt. Ducati is now making about $109m a year and is estimated to be on the market for $1-$1.6 billion.

40th anniversary of the Ducati Owners Club of Queensland buyout buyers buying

VW needs the money to finance billions of dollars in payouts over its 2015 emissions scandal.

The Germany car manufacturer has already agreed to pay $15 billion to US authorities and the owners of about 500,000 affected vehicles.

It has also laid off 3000 workers to save money, despite revenue last year of $217.27b which was an increase of 1.86%.

Ducati may not yet be sold. It depends on whether the asking price is met.

The company was actually bought by Audi, but was strongly backed by former VW CEO Ferdinand Piech who had been CEO of Audi and is a fan of Ducati motorcycles.

5 Comments

  1. What! Is this an upcoming remake of Dumb and Dumber? I don’t believe the Motor Company could be that stupid. As for “A HD executive once pointed out that a survey of their owners found that the most common second bike they owned was a Ducati” – what friggin planet did they do that survey on? I know hundreds of Harley-Davidson owners, not one of who has, or ever wanted to have, a Ducati. Admire them? Yes. Respect the brand? Yes. Own one? Fuhgeddaboudit

  2. I’m not drinking the kool-aid on this one. Talk on the street is that Harley is primed to be grabbed by some venture capital operation(s). And when these people get their hooks in something, they strip it down to its core, jettisoning what they consider unnecessary people and products as they go. As for Ducati, I can see a number of scenarios; not the least of which being a grab by QJ in China. That would give them all the Ducati dealers world-wide that could also handle their Benelli motorcycles, a line that basically has no dealers.

  3. I wish Polaris would take a look at this! Indian and Ducati under one management. Sure they got rid of Victory (cannibalising potential Indian sales) but they have the resources to cover the R&D.
    I don’t trust H-D shareholders not to try and strip Ducati of all value then wrap up the company.

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