Anyone out there forget that Volkswagen owns Ducati? Most Ducati owners probably don't know that. Now the German company wants to sell the Italian marque and the stable of potential buyers continues to grow.
According to Reuters, the list now includes the Benetton family which has made a bid of $1.2 billion through their investment firm (Edition Holding) in an effort to return the Italian manufacturer’s ownership to Italy.
Other companies rumored to be interested in Ducati include Bain Capital (which owns a piece of Can-Am's parent BRP), Eicher Motors (the company that controls Royal Enfield), Polaris Industries (the company that started and stopped Victory and now owns Indian Motorcycle), and Harley Davidson. That's right The Motor Company may want to try their hand one more time at owning an Italian brand, but given their failed attempt with MV Augusta several years ago, and their flagging financial performance, they'll likely not make a serious play.
One hitch that may hold up the purchase, regardless of who comes to the table with the money, is that the final decision requires approval by Volkswagen’s labor unions since they control half of the votes on the company’s supervisory board. Union officials have evidently stated more than once that they're opposed to the sale of the motorcycle company. But money talks, so if enough lands on the table, Ducati could end up in someone else's hands before the end of the year.
Let's hope that whoever that is takes a cue from Volkswagen and they let the company do what they need to do to keep making great looking and performing bikes.