UPDATE 1-Daimler denies report of Ducati interest

Sun Apr 1, 2012 9:49am EDT

(Adds Daimler comment)

MILAN/FRANKFURT, April 1 (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler denied a newspaper report on Sunday that it might be interested in vying with Volkswagen's Audi to buy Italian motorcycle firm Ducati.

"We have no interest in a takeover of Ducati," a spokesman for Daimler said after a report in Italy's Corriere della Sera had suggested Daimler was looking at Ducati.

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).

Earlier on Sunday Corriere della Sera had said talks between Ducati's controlling owners Investindustrial were at an advanced stage but Audi was not the only option on the table.

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

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