German automaker Volkswagen AG's trucks unit is looking to grow through acquisitions or an initial public offering, the head of the company’s truck division Andreas Renschler reportedly said Monday. The U.S., where the unit has no significant presence, and China are among key regions for possible expansion, Renschler said in an interview in Munich.
“We're keeping all options open in regards to expanding overseas, about a possible takeover as well as about a stock market listing," a spokeswoman for Volkswagen trucks told Reuters, but declined to comment on whether the unit could be hived off or completely separated.
“Shareholders would certainly welcome an IPO of VW’s trucks business as the company would start lifting value after decades of empire building,” Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI, said in a note, cited by Bloomberg.
Ellinghorst estimates the combined value of VW’s truck assets at about 20 billion euros ($22.3 billion).
The move would directly challenge Daimler AG and Volvo AB, both of which enjoy a large market share in the North American market.
“In the long-term, the North American market is of course interesting for us, but it has to be a good fit for us as well as for a possible partner,” Renschler reportedly said.
Speaking about his plans in China, Renschler said that the company would expand with partner Sinotruk Hong Kong Ltd. in the mass-market segment as well as boost sales of its MAN and Scania vehicles in the high-end market.
In January, Renschler had ruled out a fire sale of the trucks unit and said that it was not under pressure to sell off any of its facilities, after media reports hinted at a possible restructuring. Asked if the trucks business may be separated and turned into a public company, Renschler had said, "Everything is possible, but only if it makes strategic sense.”
Unlike most of its passenger-car brands under Volkswagen, the trucks unit was not directly hit by the fallout from the ongoing diesel-emissions scandal.