VW Group denies plans for Lamborghini sale or stock listing

Europe

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen Group said it has no plans for a sale or an initial public offering of its Lamborghini supercar brand, after Bloomberg reported that it was considering shedding the sports-car brand.

Bloomberg reported that VW Group was preparing to fold Lamborghini into a separate legal entity to focus its future expansion on the group’s VW, Porsche and Audi brands.

A VW spokesman said there are no plans for a sale or IPO of Lamborghini.

Speculation to this effect is “unfounded,” a VW spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess in March said that the company was reviewing its portfolio of brands, which also include Ducati and Bentley, and whether to divest some non-core businesses.

Last month, Diess said the automaker was working to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars.

Volkswagen had aggressively expanded under the leadership of Ferdinand Piech, who was CEO and chairman between 1993 and 2015, acquiring Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in a single year.

Lamborghini’s expansion from supercars to roomier SUVs with the Urus probably has helped boost its valuation to about $11 billion, making it a viable candidate for an initial public offering, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence estimated in August.

Investors have long urged Volkswagen to free up assets whose value is subsumed within a cumbersome structure that includes everything from Lamborghini’s Italian supercars to Ducati motorcycles as well as Scania and MAN heavy trucks.

Ferrari, spun off from Fiat Chrysler, is now worth about $30 billion. VW’s powerful labor unions have stood in the way of similar moves in Germany.

Diess is targeting a market value for VW Group of 200 billion euros ($220 billion), sources told Bloomberg from about 81 billion euros now to keep existing peers and new rivals from the technology industry at bay.

Bloomberg contributed to this report

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