Audi is finalizing its acquisition of Bologna-based Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati from Investindustrial Group. The transaction is on its final steps pending authorization by the competition authorities. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition last week in Hamburg. Part of the deal was the absorption of all Ducati's debt by Volkswagen Group, totalling close to 200-million Euros.

Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for AUDI AG in Northern Italy. Another building block in the Company's growth strategy thus falls into place. Ducati's outstanding expertise in small engine development and lightweight construction was the main consideration of the purchase, which Audi plans to apply to their future vehicle development.

"Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world's most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi," declared Rupert Stadler, Chairman of AUDI AG.

The progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character, and Ducati's extensive know-how in lightweight construction thus offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, explains that the employee representatives of AUDI AG support the Company's sustainable, co-determined growth strategy. "We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi - and that's exactly what we're doing. Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati," commented Mosch.

Mercedes-Benz AMG ends partnership with Ducati

AMG has decided to end its marketing and develoment partnership with the Italian motorcycle following the official announcement by Audi. The successful cooperation between the two brands since the end of 2010 saw its dead end after Audi takeover was struck. The company takeover by a rival car manufacturer has understandably resulted in the end of any further collaboration. Mercedes-Benz further reiterated that never aimed to takeover Ducati and wants to focus in developing and producing premium performance cars.