Volvo Cars, the Swedish auto maker owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding, is finalizing plans for an initial public offering and is set to announce details of the listing as early as Monday, in a deal that could value the car maker at upward of $25 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Volvo had floated the idea of a possible listing as far back as 2018 and in May said it was actively considering a possible IPO on the Stockholm stock exchange. Such a listing, assuming it proceeds, would provide the company with a broader shareholder base and greater independence from its Chinese investors. It wasn’t clear how big a stake Geely plans to sell.
A listing for Volvo would represent a milestone in what has been at times a rocky turnaround effort since
Ford Motor Co.
sold the company to Geely for $1.8 billion in 2010. It has long capitalized on a brand recognized for safety, but at the time of its sale, its product lineup had failed to excite car buyers.
Geely Holding bankrolled Volvo’s recovery over the next decade, opening China as a market for the brand and providing financing to help the company revamp its model offerings. Today, Volvo is profitable, with a road map for electric model roll outs that is ahead of some competitors. It now competes with Germany’s suite of premium brands including
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Audi brand and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.
Last week, Polestar, a Swedish electric-vehicle maker jointly owned by Volvo, Geely and others, announced plans to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company and list in New York in a deal that would value the Swedish electric-vehicle maker at around $20 billion.
Volvo Cars said last month that it expected to own close to 50% of the combined company following completion of Polestar’s merger with
Gores Guggenheim Inc.
The Polestar deal generated a pathway for Volvo to pursue its own offering by assigning a value of around $10 billion to Volvo’s stake, according to some of the people familiar with Volvo’s listing plans.
In September, Reuters reported that Volvo was in talks to list its shares in the coming weeks.
Earlier this year, Volvo and Geely decided against merging Volvo with Geely Auto Group, raising expectations that the company would pursue a separate listing and greater independence from Geely Holding. Geely has previously indicated it would likely remain a major shareholder after any offering.
“Volvo Cars is especially well positioned to deliver continued growth and harness the full potential of electrification and the delivery of safe autonomous drive functions,” Eric Li, chairman of Geely Holding, said in May.
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