Volkswagen board says Ducati not for sale

Published: 10 October 2017

Persistent opposition from labour groups has put the brakes on the sale of Ducati by Volkswagen AG, a union spokesperson has told Bloomberg.

Regional head of FIOM CIGL union, Bruno Papignani told Bloomberg: "Ducati’s CEO told workers that the VW supervisory board decided to halt the sale process. IG Metall sustained and helped Ducati workers in their request to remain inside the VW group which should keep investing in our company."

Rumours circulated in June this year that Harley-Davidson were preparing a bid to takeover Ducati after hiring Goldman Sachs to work on the deal. Earlier this year, in August, a report from Reuters claimed Volkswagen's supervisory board, which is made up of an equal split between corporate management and workforce representatives, saw no reason to sell.

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"The employee representatives on Volkswagen’s supervisory board will neither approve a sale of Ducati, nor one of Renk or MAN Diesel & Turbo," a spokesman for VW group’s works council told Reuters in August. "Everyone who can read the VW half-year results should know: We don’t need money and our subsidiaries are not up for grabs by bargain hunters." The potential sale also did not receive support from the Porsche or Piech families, who own a controlling 52% voting share in Volkswagen.

Speculation surrounding Ducati's future under Volkswagen has been rife for over a year, after Volkswagen admitted it had cheated on emissions tests on as many as 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Harley-Davidson are believed to be interested in Ducati, with Baja, Eicher Motors and Hero Motorcorp also rumoured to be interested. 

Audi purchased Ducati from Italian equity firm InvestIndustrial for $962 million (£726 million) in 2012. Ducati had sales of €593 million (£530 million) in 2016 with 55,451 units sold, representing a sales growth of 1.2%.

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