Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE: HOG), the U.S. motorcycle maker, is in talk to buy Ducati, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer.
Currently, Ducati was owned by Volkswagen, whose Audi division controls Ducati. Volkswagen is working with investment boutique Evercore for the sale of Ducati to help cover the loss from Dieselgate. Audi paid around $1 billion for Ducati in 2012, and after that, the brand has set a record on sales every year.
Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the start of the last century and currently commands half of the U.S. big-bike market. Ducati was founded in 1926, and Ducati racers have won the Superbike world championship 14 times. The two companies are rivals in the global market.
Harley-Davidson will potentially bring together the two of the most famous companies in a deal that could worth up to $1.67 billion, according to Reuters. Harley-Davidson hired Goldman Sachs to prepare for the deal.
In addition to Harley-Davidson, Bajaj Auto, the Indian motorcycle maker, and several buyout funds are also lining up for the bid.
In recent years, Harley-Davidson has expanded it production to other countries, for example, it has assembly plants in India and Brazil. If the new deal is success, it would be the company's first entry into Italian manufacturing.