Audi plans to buy Ducati –  the final decision may come as early as mid-April image

It looks like the German luxury automaker Audi is in advanced talks with the Italian motorcycle company Ducati , which could result in a sale by as early as mid-April.

Car magazine reports that the plan is part of Project Eagle, a brainchild of Volkswagen group scion Ferdinand Piech, who has looking into opportunities to buy a prestigious motorcycle brand for some time.

The trend is seen as a way of capturing both younger people who are unlikely to buy a new car until they are in their early 40s and offering branded and premium two-wheel mobility in the booming ‘megacities’ of developing nations.

”Ducati is now a perfect company but for further growth it requires the support of a world-class industrial partner,” Andrea Bonomi, Investindustrial’s chairman, told the Financial Times.

Despite its popularity and success, Ducati is hemorrhaging money, and is believed to be in debt by as much as $1.25 billion.

Ducati, whose bikes are owned by actors such as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, was delisted in 2008 from the Milan stock exchange. Ducati has 10.7% share of the global motorcycle market.

Investindustrial, backed by the Bonomi family and one of the biggest private equity investors in southern Europe, is looking to reap three times its initial investment by selling or listing the two-wheeler maker.