Audi completes long-rumoured acquisition of Ducati
|By Sam Tremayne
||Wednesday, April 18th 2012, 17:03 GMT
Audi has completed its long-rumoured acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A..
Audi AG chairman Rupert Stadler said Ducati was an excellent fit as a 'sporty, global premium brand', as the supervisory boards of both companies signed off the acquisition.
Ducati is the third Italian company now under Audi's jurisdiction, following similar deals for Lamborghini and Italdesign.
"Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles," Stadler said.
"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."
In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million, employing around 1,100 people.
On-track, Ducati has suffered a miserable start to its 2012 MotoGP campaign, with Nicky Hayden sixth and Valentino Rossi 10th in the season-opener at Qatar - a result which prompted Rossi to bemoan the handling and performance of the GP12.
In contrast to such trials, Ducati currently leads the World Superbikes constructors' championship, with Carlos Checa at the head of the riders' standings.