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After hiring financial advisors earlier this year, a move many believed was a precursor to an initial public offering (IPO), Volvo parent company Geely now claims the waters are too choppy to float any shares in the resurgent Swedish automaker.
First reported by the Financial Times this past weekend, the Chinese holding company says there’s too many uncertainties and headwinds in the industry right now. Thus, no Volvo stock for you. The biggest uncertainty is the one that’s keeping automakers on edge the world over.
The thorny issue of trade rears its head here, with the U.S.-China trade war and concern about American relations with Europe heading down a similar path factoring into the decision, the automaker claims. The trade situation led to nervous investors and a weakening of automotive stocks, serving up another warning sign for Volvo’s parent.
Now postponed indefinitely, a Volvo IPO could still come to pass after the global situation stabilizes.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters. Sources said Geely planned to value Volvo at $16 billion to $30 billion — a figure some analysts questioned. While Volvo has said it will tailor XC60 production to avoid pricey tariffs, Geely boss Li Shufu apparently feels the Volvo brand isn’t yet big enough in the world’s largest auto market (China), other sources claim.
Volvo’s volume in China is nowhere near as high as its established German luxury rivals. Still, Samuelsson seemed most concerned about large Swedish public pension funds buying up Volvo stock, only to have the deflated market kibosh a quick return.
a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com