Volkswagen courting Swedish investors to anchor Traton truck IPO: sources

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volkswagen is in talks with Swedish institutional investors AMF, AP Fund 1 and 4, Investor AB and Folksam about being cornerstone shareholders in the dual listing of its trucks unit Traton in Stockholm and Frankfurt, people familiar with the talks said.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors stand at the booth of Volkswagen’s truck unit Traton Group, former Volkswagen Truck & Bus AG, in Hanover, Germany September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

The discussions could result in more than one cornerstone investor being brought on board and are for each investor to take a 150 million to 300 million euro ($171.21-$342.42 million) stake, these sources told Reuters, declining to be named as talks were confidential.

Cornerstone investors are marquee institutions that are invited to subscribe to shares ahead of an IPO to boost the popularity of the issue and often serve as a seal of approval for other investors. Securing such investors is popular among Nordic companies.

Första AP-fonden (AP1) had been asked about being anchor investors, its head of equities Olof Jonasson confirmed to Reuters, but he declined to comment on details of stake size and price.

“We have been approached but I couldn’t really tell you anything about the details… Our interest… would be about business potential and valuation and all those things put together,” said Jonasson, whose fund is also a large owner of Swedish rival AB Volvo

Reuters had earlier reported that VW expects to sell shares worth 5 billion-6 billion euros ($5.7-$6.9 billion) in an April listing that could value Traton about 20 billion-25 billion euros.

At this size and value, the IPO could potentially become Germany’s and Sweden’s biggest new share offering in 2019, but the sources said its size had not yet been finalised and would dependent on market conditions.

AP4 head of equities Per Colleen said he could not confirm any of the details but added: “Anything of that size, we will have a serious look at”.

Other investors, Volkswagen and Traton did not immediately return requests for comment.

($1 = 0.8761 euros)

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm, additional reporting by Alexander Huebner and Edward Taylor; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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