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InvestIndustrial to acquire stake in Ducati

Texas Pacific Group is to sell the majority of its stake in the Italian bike firm to European private equity firm InvestIndustrial.

Southern European buyout firm InvestIndustrial has made a non-binding agreement to acquire a 30 percent stake in Italian motorbike group Ducati Motor Holding from US private equity firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

InvestIndustrial will pay €0.85 per Ducati share if the deal is completed, according to a statement from TPG. This is substantially lower than the €1.04 closing price of Ducati shares on the Milan Stock Exchange on Friday.

TPG agreed late on Friday to sell 30 percent minus one share in the motorbike group and will retain a stake of 3.5 percent. Under Italian law, InvestIndustrial would have been forced to make a bid for the entire company if it acquired 30 percent or more of Ducati.

InvestIndustrial declined to comment on the ongoing talks.

A statement from Federic Minoli, president and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding said: “We had always hoped to have InvestIndustrial as our partner for the relaunch of the company. The transfer of shares provides the guarantees that Ducati needs in order to continue its growth and reach the goals it has been working towards. The agreement is subject to the approval of Ducati’s banks. We will be working with all of our mainbanks, with the assistance of Unicredito Banca Mobiliare – UBM – to finalise the agreement as efficiently and quickly as possible.”

California and San Francisco-based Texas Pacific Group acquired a stake in Ducati in September 1996. In 1998, TPG increased its stake in the company and floated Ducati the following year.

Founded in 1926, Bologna-based Ducati produces the Sport Touring, Super Sport and Superbike motorcycles, as well as a line of branded clothing. The company operates around 150 Ducati stores in major Italian cities, as well as in New York, Frankfurt, London, Cape Town, Tokyo and Sydney.