Ducati launch the Panigale superbike the same weekend details of them selling up become public.
Ducati is up for sale. Think about it, it makes perfect sense. Ducati has increased its brand awareness by launching a series of brilliant road bikes, like the Panigale and then it got the biggest name in motorcycle racing on its GP bike (his name is Valentino Rossi if you're reading this from the passenger seat of a DeLorean in 1955).
Considering that a few years ago, VW chairman Ferdinand Piech was offered Ducati for one Euro, the asking price of €1bn seems a fairly strong one.
But, that's what you'll need if you want to get in the driving seat of Ducati. In the UK, they've just posted their best sales results since 2003, globally they've increased their market share, in the USA in particular, and things are looking up.
Officially, they're looking at two options, the lock stock and barrel approach, to any one of a number of firms, none of which we could prise the names of out of our mole. This will take months to sort out, with a further few months of due diligence while Ducati gets frisked down by the new owner.
The other option, is to float Ducati on the stock exchange. Goldman Sachs and the Deutsche bank have been instructed to handle this, apparently on the Hong Kong stock exchange, rather than selling it in London or New York. Ducati, as a brand, fits the Hong Kong stock exchange like Prada did when they recently floated.
Ducati has been here before, only last time round it was a necessity rather than a purely for profit exercise. Until a Berlusconi shaped skeleton falls out of Ducati's closet, they should be congratulated for weathering the rocky financial crisis, increasing their market share and making some money. But, for the love of god, please don't let the new owner be a Russian.