Volkswagen plans to go public with truck division

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Updated May 14, 2019

Volkswagen AG said on Monday it plans a summertime initial public offering (IPO) of its Traton truck unit. The German automaker just two months ago scuttled IPO plans for Traton – formerly Volkswagen Truck & Bus and the umbrella company for MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and RIO – citing poor market conditions.

Held back by build slots that have been filled since 2018, U.S. Class 8 truck orders have been below 20,000 units every month this year. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months now total 380,000 units, according to FTR.

Traton’s supervisory board and board of management on Monday each approved preparation for an IPO, putting the cash-raising plans back on track “subject to further market developments,” the company said Monday in a statement – a maneuver that could raise upwards of $6.75 billion dollars.

Traton currently owns a nearly 17 percent stake in International Trucks’ parent company Navistar, and Wall Street has long speculated that a Traton IPO is a possible precursor to a richer investment in, if not the outright acquisition of, the Lisle, Illinois-based truck maker.

Traders responded in-kind Monday. Despite losing as much as $2.23 per share earlier in the day, Navistar stock prices closed up nearly 3 percent after the Traton news broke and climbed another 4 percent early Tuesday.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].