Daimler also interested in Italy's Ducati-report

MILAN, April 1 Sun Apr 1, 2012 7:18am EDT

MILAN, April 1 (Reuters) - Germany's Daimler AG may be interested in buying Italian motorcycle maker Ducati, which is also being courted by rival German carmaker Audi, the premium cars arm of Volkswagen, newspaper Corriere della Sera said on Sunday.

The paper said negotiations between Audi and Ducati's owners were at an advanced stage but were not the only option on the table.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that Audi was on the brink of acquiring Ducati for around 870 million to 875 million euros ($1.16-1.17 billion).

Corriere said the talks between the Investindustrial private equity fund that controls Ducati and Audi were not exclusive and that Daimler was looking at a possible deal.

It said Investindustrial did not want to sell out of Ducati completely and a deal with Audi would leave open this possibility, but Daimler, which already has a marketing partnership with Ducati, could offer a better price. ($1=0.7509 euros) (Reporting By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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