At least that is what an anonymous Reuters source is saying. In fact, Goldman Sachs is rumored to have been hired by Harley-Davidson to negotiate the deal and tentative bids could be made as soon as next month.
With an unconfirmed source and no details from the Ducati or Harley-Davidson themselves, this could all be just a rumor. But Volkswagen was considering selling Ducati off earlier this year due to the ever increasing Dieselgate bill.
Originally acquired by Audi for about 860 million euros in 2012, VW had already started reaching out to potential buyers in April. Those interested included a few Chinese firms, Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp, Royal Enfield, private equity funds, and even InvestIndustrial was among the list of suiters.
VW is hoping to sell Ducati for around 1.5 billion euros, valuing the Italian company at 14-15 times its earnings. That’s a steep expectation some bidders were unwilling to meet, with Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company being two companies that decided to walk away.
Then we have Harley-Davidson, a brand with an aging customer base who may be looking for a way to appeal to younger buyers, something that Ducati does all too well. To the younger demographic, Ducati is a performance brand, their bikes are awe inspiring and something to work towards.
If this rumor is true, then Harley-Davidson will have a brand that appeals to a market previously untapped by them, unlike their poor decision to purchase MV Agusta in 2008.