German luxury automaker Audi, which is part of the larger Volkswagen group, has officially purchased Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati from previous owners Investindustrial for a reported $1.1 billion. To add some financial perspective — and for those keeping track — that is just a sliver more than what social media giant Facebook shelled out for photo sharing program Instagram.
In a press release issued by Audi AG, the official acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. will be completed “as quickly as possible” once it has undergone proper inspection by the competition authorities. Ducati will be the third Italian operation under Audi AG’s umbrella, which also includes Lamborghini and ItalDesign-Guigiaro.
The acquisition of Ducati will no doubt prove a sweet victory for Audi, as the company had failed in a previous attempt to purchase the famed Italian motorcycle maker from Milan-based Investindustrial back in 2008.
“Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sport motorcycles,” Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said in an official statement. “It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction.”
It is precisely that expertise and technological know-how Audi will seek to capitalize on. Ducati’s proficiency with control systems and the combustion chamber process will surely provide a much needed boost to the company, which is now in a much better position to take on German rivals BMW in the motorcycle market.