Analysts are likening Audi’s purchase of Ducati to that of an older man taking a trophy bride as Reuters and others are calling the deal done with an official announcement soon. VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech seems to like Ducati so much he bought the company.
“The Ducati purchase is driven by VW’s passion for nameplates rather than industrial or financial logic,” said Arndt Ellinghorst, analyst at London-based Credit Suisse. “It’s an unnecessary sideshow to VW’s main challenges of integrating sports-car maker Porsche and merging truck operations at MAN and Scania.”
For all its importance in the motorcycling world as an brand icon and technology leader Ducati’s modest sales of ~€390 million and earnings (EBITDA) of €71 million in 2010 are immaterial to VW group which generates €8 billion in free cash each year.
As we predicted, the supposed synergies in small engine design are mostly PR speak and the analyst community aren’t having a bar of it. David Arnold in specialist sales at Credit Suisse doesn’t see the logic of the deal.
“VW would likely say that cylinder head design in the motorcycle industry is much more advanced than in passenger cars, a common argument, but that sounds a little bit far fetched to me,” he said.
UPDATE: The acquisition of Ducati by Audi is now official.
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