Audi has announced that it is acquiring Ducati from Invest industrial Group, with the deal reportedly set to cost 860 million euros. The Italian motorcycle marque is set to join the Vokswagen empire as the 12th brand under its portfolio.

It will be the third Italian brand under the VW fold – Lamborghini and Italdesign being the others, with the purchase bringing along the Italian company’s expertise on design and light engines. The transaction will be completed as quickly as possible once authorised by the competition authorities.

The acquisition price is certainly higher than that originally bandied about earlier, but cements a move on to the two-wheeled path for the group, which VW chairman Ferdinand Piech apparently wants to pursue. It will also allow VW to take on BMW on the bike front.

In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some 480 million euros, and employs around 1,100 staff. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams.