Investindustrial makes 3x on Ducati

Investindustrial has sold motorbike group Ducati to car maker Audi in a $1.1bn deal, earning the firm a three times return.

Investindustrial, the Southern Europe-focused private equity firm run by Italy's Bonomi family, has sold motorbike maker Ducati to car maker Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, for $1.1 billion, according to a source close to the process.

The firm, which has turned Ducati around since its initial investment in 2006, has netted a three times return on the deal, the source said.

Investindustrial paid €72 million for a 30 percent stake in Ducati from TPG in January 2006, at a significant discount to its share price. The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Canadian Pension Fund and fellow Italian buyout firm BS Private Equity were co-investors on the deal. All have now exited their investments, an Investindustrial statement said.

Last year Ducati sold 42,200 units, which represented an 11 percent global market share, up from 35,300 in 2006. Its 2011 turnover and EBITDA of €480 million and €94 million respectively were the highest in its history, the firm said, up from €305 million and €27 million in 2006.

Ducati opened a factory in Thailand in 2011 to support an expansion into emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Today 80 percent of its sales come from foreign markets.

“Ducati has thrived with us as a result of the intensive industrial turnaround and the commercial push into new, fast-growing markets,” Investindustrial chairman Andrea Bonomi said in the statement.

Founded in 1926, Ducati is also successful in the world of racing. Since 2006 it has won three constructors’ world titles in the Superbike World Championship, and a constructors’ world title in the MotoGP World Championship.