Ducati owner says this is important week for sale

MILAN, April 16 Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:59am EDT

MILAN, April 16 (Reuters) - The private equity fund controlling Ducati said on Monday this was an important week for the sale of the Italian motor cycle manufacturer, which is being courted by Volkswagen's VOWG_p-DE luxury unit Audi.

Audi is expected to announce the acquisition this week, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters last Wednesday.

Andrea Bonomi, head of the Investindustrial fund that owns Ducati, said the talks with Volkswagen were no longer exclusive but added that the German group "has demonstrated in the past that it has the money, the technology and the long-term vision."

Asked whether Investindustrial wanted to keep a stake in Ducati, Bonomi told reporters: "We wouldn't mind taking part in the next growth phase." (Reporting By Giulio Piovaccari)