© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hearing on the VW diesel emissions fraud scandal in Braunschweig
By Pamela Barbaglia, Arno Schuetze and Jan Schwartz
LONDON / FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Before a planning round in November, the Volkswagen Group (DE 🙂 is holding preliminary talks with potential bidders for its Ducati brand in order to measure the potential interest in the motorcycle manufacturer, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
During the five-year planning round, VW will review the future of its Ducati brand and its Lamborghini and Bugatti super sports car brands.
Volkswagen is analyzing the future of Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ducati as part of a broader pursuit of economies of scale when it comes to mass producing electric cars and trying to more than double its value to 200 billion euros.
The review could lead to technology partnerships for the high-performance sports car and superbike brands, reorganizations or other options, including listing or sale.
It is still uncertain whether Volkswagen will agree to initiate a formal sales process at this meeting. However, for a sale to be possible early next year, investors and bankers will need to gauge price expectations and the potential strategic fit, said a second person familiar with the discussions.
"There is some movement here," said one of those sources, commenting on the possible start of a Ducati auction. No decision has been made yet, the source added.
Two other related parties said Volkswagen is expected to initiate the sales process in early 2021 and may hire a sales advisor before Christmas.
Volkswagen declined to comment.
Volkswagen tried to sell Ducati in 2017 as a peer Bajaj car (NS :), in cooperation with KTM as well as Polaris (N 🙂 and the private equity groups Bain, PAI and Investindustrial, expressed interest in buying the Italian motorcycle brand.
A sale met opposition from the labor leaders and was postponed.
As part of its next strategy review, Volkswagen is also planning to spin off Lamborghini and has informed bankers and potential investors about the listing of the Italian sports car maker on the stock exchange, sources told Reuters.
A listing could be attempted in 2021, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
Italian supercar rival Ferrari (MI 🙂 has more than tripled its rating since then Fiat Chrysler (MI 🙂 listed it in 2016 despite being rivals Aston Martin (L 🙂 have slumped since going public in 2018.
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