Volkswagen Says Truck Unit IPO 'One Option' Available in Group Overhaul

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) said Monday that the listing of its trucks division is just "one of the options" available to the world's second-largest carmaker as it contemplates the potential takeover of Navistar International Corp. (NAV)

VW has been linked with a takeover of Navistar, in which it holds a 16.9% stake, as part of the company's broader plans to streamline its business and grow earnings under its "Strategy 2025" turnaround program that stalled under ousted CEO Matthias Mueller but looks set to be revived under new boss Herbert Diess. Last week, VW said it was preparing its trucks and buses division for "capital market readiness" when it unveiled both news of Diess' elevation and plans to split the group into three groups and six new business areas. 

"We want to achieve capital market readiness in the next 12 months. An IPO is just one of the options," said Trucks CEO Andreas Renschler told reporters in Munich Monday. "You can also go to the capital market without (a formal listing). You can refinance yourself by issuing a bond." CFO Navistar International Corp also noted that a full takeover of Navistar would "make sense at some point".

The remarks followed news that group deliveries for the month of March rose 5.3% from the same period last year to just over 1.04 million vehicles, led by a 4.9% rise in VW-branded cars and a 6% increased for its Audi unit. Porsche sales, the company said, were down 0.8%.

Volkswagen's ordinary shares were marked 0.61% lower in Frankfurt and changing hands at €172.23 each, while its preference shares were marked 1.4% to the downside at €174.88 each by mid-day trading.

Navistar shares were marked 6.72% higher in pre-market trading Monday, indicating an opening bell price of $39.55 each, a move that would value the company a just under $4 billion. 

Last month, Navistar boosted its full-year forecast for both revenue and truck deliveries, saying it expects a top-line of between $9.25 billion and $9.75 billion and will shift between 360,000 to 390,000 Class 6-8 trucks and buses.

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