BERLIN—Volvo Cars, the Swedish auto maker owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding, said Wednesday that it is exploring a potential listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm index through an initial public offering.
The company also extended Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson’s contract to the end of 2022. Mr. Samuelsson has long favored a listing, which would cap a decadelong turnaround of the car maker known for its understated Scandinavian design and reputation for safety.
Proceeding with the listing in Stockholm would leave the company with a broader shareholder base and greater independence from its Chinese investors. Volvo didn’t say how big a stake it might float.
“A potential listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange could create an opportunity for global investors to participate in our journey to become a leader in the fast-growing premium and intelligent electric vehicle segment,” Mr. Samuelsson said.
Volvo Cars have long discussed a potential listing, but Wednesday’s announcement marks the first concrete step toward going public. The company said whether to go ahead with the offering would depend on market conditions.
Weakened by the 2007-08 financial crisis,
Ford Motor Co.
sold Volvo to Geely Holding, the investment vehicle of Chinese billionaire
in 2010 for $1.8 billion. Geely Holding bankrolled Volvo’s recovery over the next decade, opening China as a market for the brand and providing financing to help the brand revamp its product lineup.
Earlier this year, Volvo and Geely backed away from a plan to merge Volvo with Geely Auto Group, raising expectations that the company would pursue a separate listing and seek greater independence from Geely Holding.
“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,” said
chairman of Geely Holding. “After a potential listing Geely Holding would remain a major shareholder.”
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