Indian moto-maker hints of deal at shareholder meeting

One of India's largest two-wheeler manufacturers, Bajaj Auto, Ltd. (BAL), expressed confidence in acquiring European performance motorcycle brand, Ducati, according to the Times of India.

At the company's annual general meeting on Thursday, Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of BAL, told shareholders that the company is close to settling a new alliance.

"We are very close to finalising a very promising alliance. It's not certain that it will happen, but if it happens, it will open up enormous possibilities for the company," Rajiv said.

If all goes as planned, an official announcement will be made within the next two weeks. Bajaj has not confirmed that it is looking to acquire Ducati specifically. However, last month, when Harley-Davidson was reportedly in talks with Volkswagen group to buy Audi-controlled Ducati, the reports also suggested that Bajaj was among the other groups bidding for its acquisition.

In spite of Bajaj's confidence, it appears many firms are still interested in negotiating its acquisition.

"Ducati has received several tentative bids with the Benetton family's investment vehicle Edizione Holding valuing the Monster motorbike maker at $1.2 billion," a Ducati insider told Reuters.

Italy's Benetton family seeks to make Ducati motorbikes Italian again. KTM AG, 48% of whose equity stakes are owned by Bajaj Auto, has also shown interest. Other Indian manufacturers in the running are Hero Moto Corp., and Royal Enfield.