Volvo Cars Said to Pick Citi, Goldman, Morgan Stanley on IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Volvo Cars owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has selected Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to advise on an initial public offering for the Swedish carmaker this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

China’s Zhejiang Geely and Volvo have discussed valuing the Swedish automaker in a range of $16 billion to $30 billion in a stock sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. The companies held meetings in Sweden and Hong Kong this month to discuss a dual listing in both venues, they said.

The shares could be sold as early as this fall, though no final decisions have been made and the plans may change, they said. An IPO is an option but the decision is up to the owner, a representative for Volvo Cars said, declining to comment further. Representatives for Geely, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Volvo Cars may seek to benchmark itself against automakers including Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and Tesla Inc. in the potential IPO, the people said. Geely is still finalizing the bank line-up and may add further advisers, the people said.

Shares of Geely Automobile rose as much as 2.4 percent in early Hong Kong trading Friday, after doubling over the last 12 months. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose as much as 1.1 percent Friday morning.

Volvo Cars Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in March that a share sale is a possible option for billionaire owner Li Shufu to decide. Closely held Zhejiang Geely acquired Volvo in 2010 and then refreshed its line-up of vehicles to make it a popular alternative to German luxury stalwarts.

The Chinese company’s Swedish unit holds 99 percent of Volvo Car AB, while a group of Swedish institutional investors holds the remaining 1 percent through another class of shares, according to its website.

The Gothenburg-based automaker posted a 1.8 percent decline in first-quarter profit. The U.S. was the main driver for its sales growth, while China continued to be its biggest market, closely followed by Sweden and the U.S.

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