Another luxury brand to roar away on the HKEx?

This weekend has seen the press link Ducati, the Bologna-based Italian superbike manufacturer, to a possible IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx).

Ducati had previously traded as a public company when Texas Pacific Group, the US private equity firm, IPO’d the company as an exit route for its investment back in 2005. Ducati was taken private again in 2008 by two private equity firms, InvestIndustrial Advisors and BS Investmenti SGR, at a cost thought to be around $487m and has traded as a privately held company since this de-listing occurred.

Ducati has become the motor bike of choice for A list stars like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, and is the bike of choice for British royalty, with Prince William also an owner.

What’s interesting about the current speculation is that the market of choice for global luxury brands, the HKEx, is again being linked as the likeliest market for the Ducati listing. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Euro Zone markets at the moment and the huge draw that luxury goods companies continue to hold for Asian investors, the HKEx would seem to be the most logical choice.

In the last 18 months, Prada, Samsonite and L’Occitane have all listed on the HKEx, taking advantage of Asian demand for high-end stock. Numerous other companies have also been linked to the HKex including names such as Jimmy Choo shoes and Coach.

According to the media, the listing would potentially value the company at over $1.4bn and would be a considerable turnaround for a business which had been lossmaking while previously trading as a listed company. But there are many more miles to be travelled before this deal rides off into the sunset.