Bloomberg News

Ducati Owner Said to Mull Sale or Hong Kong IPO as Soon as 3Q

February 14, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Ducati Motor Holding SpA’s private- equity owner may hold an initial public offering of the luxury- motorcycle maker in Hong Kong this year or sell it to a rival, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may manage the IPO of the company, which could file as soon as June, said the people, who declined to be identified because the preparations are private. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA may also help with the IPO, one person said.

Investindustrial SpA, the Milan-based private-equity firm that owns Ducati, is also considering a sale of the company to an industrial partner, which may fetch 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) with debt, one person said.

Ducati, whose bikes are owned by actors such as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, was delisted in 2008 from the Milan stock exchange.

Companies in Europe and the U.S. are interested in the motorcycle maker, Andrea Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial, told the Financial Times in an interview published on Feb. 12.

Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG are among possible buyers, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people close to the situation. The motorcycle maker might also be a good fit for Harley-Davidson Inc., the people familiar with the matter said.

BMW isn’t “currently” interested in buying Ducati, Alexander Bilgeri, a spokesman for the Munich-based company, said yesterday by phone. Michael Brendel, a VW spokesman, declined to comment on the matter.

Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo also declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs wasn’t immediately available outside of normal working hours. Maripat Blankenheim, a spokeswoman for Harley-Davidson, said the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation.

--With assistance from Chris Reiter in Berlin and Mark Clothier in Southfield, Michigan. Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Jacqueline Simmons

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisa Martinuzzi in Milan at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net; Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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