Despite unconditional denials by Piaggio's owner, Immsi, rumors of a possible merger between Ducati and Piaggio are intensifying in Italy. Word is that leading global management consultancy McKinsey & Company has been contracted to evaluate potential merger candidates for the struggling Piaggio Group and that the now privately-controlled Ducati is being tipped as the best option.
In an official statement, Immsi defined as baseless, "any assumptions
about possible integration of the Piaggio Group and other industry
groups." The company then goes on to deny "categorically, that they have
heard of projects or documents of any kind, developed by McKinsey in
relation to that hypothesis."
You're likely familiar with the Ducati brand already, but many people don't realize that, in addition to manufacturing scooters under its own name, Piaggio owns Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Derbi, Vespa, Gilera and Ligier.
Italian wire service MF suggests that the McKinsey study is at the
preliminary stages, but will be examining the possibility of integrating
Ducati and Piaggio. The thinking appears to be that major investment
could be drummed up for a Ducati/Piaggio super company since such a
merger would create a major competitor for the big four Japanese
motorcycle makers. Not only would such a company have a a wide range of
products -- running the gamut from scooters to SBK competitors and
everything in between -- but it'd also have the volume and the
manufacturing capacity to tackle emerging markets in Southeast Asia.
via Reuters and Borsa Italiana