Volvo and owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group have indefinitely postponed a plan to take the Scandinavian automaker public due to trade tensions and a fall in automotive stocks.
Volvo was to be floated in Stockholm valued roughly between $16 billion and $30 billion. The company says that a listing is on the cards in the future but declined to provide a time frame. “We have come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said.
According to Automotive News Europe, ongoing trade issues between the United States and China as well as the U.S. and Europe have “rattled” automotive investors, hurtling share prices and adding volatility. Samuelsson said that the prospects of an IPO had also started to look bleak due to a decline that has resulted in the Stoxx 600 Autos & Parts index fall by 15 percent this year.
Volvo’s Chinese owner Geely wants the Swedish automaker to foray deeper into the Chinese market before reconsidering an IPO, according to sources close to the issue. Volvo has made significant progress in China, but at 61,480 vehicles sold in the first half of 2018 is lagging way behind competitors like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
Volvo’s intentions of going public were first disclosed in May this year. At the time, the Swedish carmaker was reportedly considering a dual listing in both Stockholm and Hong Kong. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley were enlisted to advise the firm on the matter. Geely currently owns 99 percent of Volvo. The rest is owned by different Swedish institutional investors through a distinct class of shares.