Volvo IPO back on the table

Volvo could be the next major automaker to go public.

The automaker said on Wednesday that its board is evaluating the possibility of an initial public offering and listing on the main stock exchange in Sweden as early as this year.

The announcement follows Volvo’s decision in February to rule out a full merger with its parent company, Geely. The two have a close collaboration however that extends to the sharing of technologies and production facilities, and Geely would remain the main shareholder of Volvo after any IPO.

Volvo came came close to launching an IPO in 2018 but put things on hold due to concerns the stock price could be hurt by the trade war at the time, primarily between the United States and China but also between the U.S. and Europe.

Estimates at the time valued Volvo at up to $30 billion.

Geely has done an impressive job of transforming Volvo since acquiring the brand from Ford in 2010. Volvos today are comparable with Germany’s best and the company is also expanding with the Lynk & Co. and Polestar sister brands, as well as launching its first electric vehicles.

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Volvo is also in the process of introducing a second-generation modular platform for large vehicles, known as SPA2. It will make its debut next year in a redesigned XC90. The new platform will support a high level of self-driving capability, a technology Volvo is developing via its Zenuity subsidiary.

“We have supported the transformation and growth of Volvo Cars for the last 10 years, enabling the company to become a true premium brand with improved profitability,” Eric Li, Geely’s chairman, said in a statement. “As we look ahead, 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.”

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