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Harley-Davidson wants to buy Ducati

American motorcycle producer Harley-Davidson wants to buy Italian rival Ducati, with a transaction that could top 1,5 billion Euros, the equivalent of 1,67 billion dollars, according to sources cited by Reuters.

Ducati is owned by Audi, which in turn is owned by German group Volkswagen.

The German constructor put out Ducati for sale after it was acquired in 2012. Since then, though, the German giant has faced the emissions scandal, in which it paid fines, penalties and compensations worth of over $20 billion in the USA alone.


Harley-Davidson is especially known for touring motorcycles, basically being an American symbol. Ducati, on the other hand, is famous for its speed motorcycles, with it winning the Superbike championship 14 times, Carl Fogarty and Troy Bayliss being the most famous champions.

On the other hand, Indian producer Bajaj Auto and a few investment funds are preparing offers for Ducati. These include funds KKR, Bain Capital and Permira.

With its headquarters in Bologna, Ducati was founded in 1926, when it was manufacturing radio components.

On the other hand, although Harley-Davidson dominates the American market with a share of around 50%, the demand for its models is very low due to its traditional public ageing and very cheap offers from rivals Honda in Japan and Polaris Industries in India.

On the other hand, syndicates within Volkswagen oppose the transaction, claiming that it is a ”jewel”, and Harley-Davidson is way behind it from a technological perspective.

Ducati had last year revenue of 593 million Euros.

Other Indian companies, such as Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company also expressed an interest for Ducati, but cannot afford to pay 1,5 billion Euros.


German producer BMW and the Japanese from Honda and Suzuki decided not to auction for Ducati.

Daniel Higgson