Hero MotoCorp eyes Italian motorcycle maker Ducati

India's biggest motorcycle maker by sales, Hero MotoCorp, is in talks with banks on raising funds for a potential acquisition of iconic Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Holding SpA.

 ''Lots of bankers have been coming to us over Ducati,'' Pawan Kant Munjal, the managing director of Hero MotoCorp, yesterday said in an interview in New Delhi. ''We're talking to a lot of people. Not just Ducati, whoever comes to us, we talk to them.''

Private equity firm Investindustrial Holdings SpA, is looking to sell Ducati, and expects €1 billion ($1.32 billion) or three times its initial investment, the Financial Times had this month reported. (See: Ducati Motorcycles owner seeks €1 bn from potential buyers)

 ''Ducati is now a perfect company but for further growth it requires the support of a world-class industrial partner,'' Andrea Bonomi, Investindustrial's chairman, told the Financial Times. ''This year, we will work towards that partner.''

The paper had said that German car makers Volkswagen AG (VW) and BMW AG, and India's Mahindra & Mahindra could be possible buyers.

BMW, which makes the R 1200 GS Adventure enduro and the S 1000 RR supersports bike has already said that it was not interested in Ducati, while VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who owns a Ducati, had said a few years ago that he regretted not having acquired the brand back then when Ducati could have been bought "for peanuts.
Investindustrial, backed by the Bonomi family and one of the biggest private equity investors in southern Europe, is looking to reap three times its initial investment by selling or listing the two-wheeler maker.