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 maker.
Bloomberg had on Oct. 12 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.
The options VW is mulling include a sale or stock listing for Lamborghini, sources told Bloomberg. No decision has been made and an earlier plan to move Lamborghini from under the Audi umbrella to Porsche remains an option, they said.
Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper also reported on a possible sale or IPO of Lamborghini, without saying where it got the information, as VW drafts a revamp of its 12 automotive 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.