Update – The story immediately below from yesterday is accurate, but the approval has now been consummated and the deal is official (Gabe’s comment below contains a press release — see our press release section for the full text). Here is yesterday’s story.
The massive Volkswagen group, through its luxury car subsidiary Audi, will announce acquisition of control of Ducati through purchase of the shares held by Investindustrial. The announcement is expected tomorrow evening in Germany following a meeting of the supervisory boards of Audi and Volkswagen to finalize approval of the deal. Tomorrow’s approval is considered a mere formality given the joint control of Volkswagen and Audi. Both Reuters and the New York Times have independently verified that the controlling shares will be acquired for approximately $1.12 billion. Here is a link to the New York Times story posted a few hours ago on the web.
Volkswagen has a history of acquiring luxury automobile brands, supporting their development, and allowing them to retain their unique identities and attributes. Through its treatment of Bentley and Bugatti, for example, Volkswagen has shown a pattern where it would share engineering and technology with Ducati, and support new product development without damaging its brand DNA. Therefore, don’t expect Volkswagen to change the character of Ducati. It will remain a luxury brand, but continue to offer entry level value through its Monster line, for instance. Ducati will remain Ducati, only much, much stronger.