NEW YORK -- Volvo Cars owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has selected Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley to advise on an initial public stock offering for the Swedish automaker this year, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
China’s Zhejiang Geely and Volvo have discussed valuing the Swedish company 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.
Volvo Cars may seek to benchmark itself against automakers including Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings and Tesla in the potential IPO, the people said.
Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in March that a share sale is a possible option for billionaire owner 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 Cars, while a group of Swedish institutional investors holds the remaining 1 percent through another class of shares, according to its website.
The shares could be sold as early as this autumn, though no final decisions have been made and the plans may change, sources said.
An IPO is an option but the decision is up to the owner, a representative for Volvo Cars said, declining to comment further. Geely said it was "looking at the possibilities" when asked about listing plans for Volvo Cars. "We haven't made a final decision on how to proceed as of yet."
Gothenburg-based Volvo reported a 3.6 percent rise in quarterly operating earnings to 3.62 billion crowns ($417 million) in the first quarter as growing sales in China and a recovery in the U.S. market offset increased development and marketing costs.
Reuters contributed to this report