Are VW looking to sell Ducati?

The locally assembled Ducati Multistrada 1200 was unveiled in Malaysia early last year

The locally assembled Ducati Multistrada 1200 was unveiled in Malaysia early last year

In October a year ago, VW Group Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch categorically denied rumors that Volkswagen could sell Ducati or truck manufacturers Scania and Man.

While Wolfsburg-based VW has started reaching out to potential buyers to sound out their interest, no decision has been taken on whether the firm will be divested, they added.

The possible sale of Ducati, now owned by Audi, comes as part of the Volkswagen Group's company-wide expenditure audit.

Reuter's unnamed sources say that VW has asked the investment bank Evercore to evaluate options for streamlining its finances - which includes the sale of Ducati, which it bought in 2012 for a reported €860 million.

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According to one of the sources, Ducati could fetch a valuation of up to 1.5 billion euros, or 15 times its core earnings, and the brand may appeal to Asian buyers in China or India, which might view Ducati as a catch.

According to Reuters, the manufacturer could sell motorcycle arm Ducati in order to pay the multibillion-dollar fines and taxes after the diesel scandal.

The motorbike maker may appeal to peers in China, India's Hero HROM.NS or investors such as the consortium that bought British sports auto maker Aston Martin in 2007, the sources said. Ducati was acquired by Audi for $935 million (£725 million) back in 2012 - and the brand has declined to comment on the speculation. Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki could also be interested. There is no confirmation on the possible sale of Ducati yet, and this is not the first time reports of VW selling Ducati have surfaced.

One source noted that floating Ducati on the stock market may be considered if VW doesn't receive appropriate interest.

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