"Ducati is currently holding perfect, but further growth requires a world-class industrial partner. This year we will work to find that partner, " the president of Investindustrial, Andrea Bonomi, himself a Ducati rider, told the Financial Times.
While Investindustrial is seeking an IPO in Hong Kong, others suggest that a large automotive company is more likely to take over to further internationalize the brand.
Among those rumored to be interested include German car makers BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, and Indian automotive and motorcycle manufacturer Mahindra, which began World Championship competition last season. However, BMW denies any interest in purchasing the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. According to Il Solo 24 Ore, a spokesman for BMW confirmed, "We are not interested in buying any business."
Ducati, which began 86 years ago as a manufacturer of radio components, now holds a 10.5% global market share of sportbikes, up from 8.5% in 2010.
Ducati Motor Holding is preparing to close 2011 with about 42,000 bikes sold and a turnover of close to 480 million, numbers that represent a 20% increase over the previous year.
The company has paid debts amounting to about 1.7% of earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization: a low level in comparison with most of the private equity portfolio companies.