Ducaudi? It's now official, VW group acquires Ducati!
VW group's audi division has acquired Ducati.
VW's Audi Brand To Expand Into Motorcycle Business With Ducati Takeover.
HAMBURG (Dow Jones)--Volkswagen AG's (VOW.XE) Audi premium-car brand on Wednesday confirmed the acquisition of a majority stake in Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding SpA from investment firm Investindustrial Group, but didn't disclose financial details.
Ducati "has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturers," Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said in a statement after the supervisory boards of Audi and VW approved the deal.
Volkswagen wants to become the world's largest auto maker by 2018 and is investing heavily to boost its presence across the globe. It posted record vehicle sales and profits last year and has significant muscle to finance its expansion plan with EUR17 billion in net liquidity as of Dec. 31, 2011.
The Wolfsburg-based auto maker took over truck makers Scania AB and MAN SE in recent years to increase its footprint in commercial vehicles and will now enter the high-performance motorcycle business through the Ducati acquisition.
The move into trucks and motorcycles is widely seen as the brainchild of VW's influential supervisory board Chairman and former Chief Executive, Ferdinand Piech, who has voiced admiration for Ducati in the past and reportedly owns one of its motor bikes.
The rapid expansion, however, has sparked concerns about the growing industrial complexity Volkswagen's management has to master at a time when competition for its car business is heating up amid a fragile economic environment.
The early bird may get the worm but it's the 2nd mouse who gets the cheese.
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