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Audi could announce the acquisition of Ducati as early as next week, according to reports.

Sources in from Germany have reported that Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, the parent company of the luxury Audi brand, has completed due diligence on an €850m acquisition of the Italian manufacturer and that the purchase could be announced on April 18, one day before VW’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Hamburg.

Volkswagen, Audi and Investindustrial, the owners of the Ducati marque, have remained silent on the reports.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera also reported on Wednesday that an accord between Ducati and Audi was expected to be signed next week, although no sources were cited, claiming that Audi had the right to negotiate exclusively until April 15, after which Investindustrial was free to talk to other potential buyers.

Investindustrial’s chairman Andrea Bonomi told The Financial Times in February the firm was looking to sell Ducati, with the company currently standing on debts of around €800m

For Audi, whose Ingolstadt headquarters have become a key research and development centre for lightweight fuel saving technologies, Ducati’s engine technology could add a new development dimension.

Audi has also owned Lamborghini since 1998 and together with the Italian supercar maker aims to produce lower weight vehicles by increasing the share of components made of carbon fibre.

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