Audi has bought Ducati for an undisclosed sum following rumours last month that it was poised to make the acquisition.
The VW Group brand said it would look to complete the deal “as quickly as possible” but must gain approval from regulators.
Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said in a statement: “Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sport motorcycles.
“It has great expertise in high performance engines and lightweight construction.”
The acquisition now means Audi has a motorcycle brand to compete with its main rival BMW, which makes its own motorcycles and owns Husqvarna Motorcycles.
Ducati has 38 dealers in the UK and it's highly unlikely the motorcycle franchise will start to appear in Audi UK showrooms.