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India's Royal Enfield May Be Looking To Buy Iconic Italian Superbike Maker Ducati!
(Mumbai, May 08 2017):It's arguably the most iconic brand among highperformance motorcycles. And it could soon be owned by an Indian company. Royal Enfield is understood to have been approached to acquire Italian superbike maker Ducati, owned by Germany's embattled Volkswagen group.

According to reports, VW, reeling under a crippling diesel emissions scandal, has tasked investment banking boutique Evercore to evaluate possible options for a sale of Ducati. The Italian company could fetch a valuation of about $1.5 billion euros (approximately Rs 10,500 crore), according to estimates.

Royal Enfield, a part of Eicher Motors, has been witnessing healthy growth in India even as it expands aggressively in overseas markets across Europe, North America, and Asia. Sources said that Eicher Motors which is looking to attain global leadership for Royal Enfield in the middleengine category is examining the terms related to the acquisition, possible asking price, and how Ducati could fit within its own fastgrowing operations.

Eicher declined to comment. "We can't talk to you on such things," Siddhartha Lal, MD & CEO of Eicher Motors, told TOI when asked about possible acquisition plans for Ducati.

Pressed further, Lal said, "I have a general view on such things. We are always open to thoughts and ideas. But as you know, we are the most focused and selective company... So basically, without saying absolutely no to anything because we never say never we are so zeroed in on our own opportunity that we do not want anything to distract us."

However, sources said the Indian twowheeler major which has a tieup with Sweden's Volvo for heavy commercial vehicles and American manufacturer Polaris for personal utility vehicles is "keen to explore" any possible acquisition effort for Ducati, "if it comes at the right value and provides the best fit" within its own branding.

Ducati is owned by Volkswagen's premium car division, Audi, and was acquired by the German auto major in 2012 for 860 million Euros (about Rs 6,000 crore). Its current portfolio is dominated mainly by motorcycles powered by engines between 800cc and 1,200cc, a segment which is completely missing in Royal Enfield's portfolio.

Ducati had sales of 593 million Euros in 2016 (Rs 4,196 crore). Other suitors may include global companies such as Suzuki, Honda, Polaris and Harley Davidson, as per reports.

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