Daimler Denies Interest In Buying Italy's Ducati

FRANKFURT, GERMANY – April 1, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – German car maker Daimler AG (DAI.XE) said Sunday it has no interest in acquiring Italian premium motorbike maker Ducati Motor Holding SpA, dismissing an Italian newspaper report.

“We have no interest in taking over Ducati,” a Daimler spokesman said, when asked about a report in Corriere della Sera. Without revealing where it got the information, the paper said Daimler may be interested in the manufacturer of iconic motorcycles.

In March, two people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires that Audi AG (NSU.XE), the luxury auto manufacturer owned by Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE), was considering the acquisition of Ducati and could make a final decision on the matter by the end of April.

Earlier this year, the owners of Ducati, which also include BS Private Equity and Hospital of Ontario Pension Plan, confirmed they are considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong for the motorcycle maker in the second half of the year, though they would consider a sale to a single buyer if the price was right. They expect the business to fetch up to EUR1 billion.

Unconfirmed media reports said Audi is willing to pay between EUR870 million to EUR875 million for Ducati.

Audi has repeatedly said it “generally doesn’t comment on speculation.”

SOURCE: Dow Jones