Volkswagen Reported to Eye Traton Stock Sale

Share Price for Navistar Parent Surges
Traton lineup
The business owns brands including Germany’s MAN, Sweden’s Scania and Navistar in the U.S. (Traton)

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Volkswagen AG is exploring the sale of as much as 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of stock in Traton SE, people familiar with the matter said, taking advantage of the truck maker’s surging price to increase the number of shares available for trading.

VW, which owns about 90% of Traton, has been talking to potential advisers about a sale to institutional investors via an accelerated bookbuilding transaction as soon as the next few weeks, the people said. The size of the offering could be about 500 million euros to 1 billion euros depending on market conditions, according to the people.

Since Traton’s initial public offering in 2019, VW has fielded calls from investors to increase the truck maker’s free float to raise more capital and help the unit become more independent. The business owns brands including Germany’s MAN, Sweden’s Scania and Navistar in the U.S.

VW Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz said during an earnings call last month that the company was prepared to take steps to boost Traton’s free float at the appropriate time.

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No decisions have been made and plans could still change, these people said. A representative for VW referred to Antlitz’s recent comments and declined to comment further. A spokesperson for Traton also declined to comment.

Traton CEO Christian Levin has focused on bolstering cooperation among the company’s brands, including on research and development and a push to lift sales in China. The truck maker reported better-than-expected operating profit in the first quarter despite lower unit sales, in part by cutting costs and raising prices.

Shares of Traton have surged nearly 60% this year. It plans to hold an investor day on Oct. 1 in Munich.

By Monica Raymunt, Eyk Henning and Swetha Gopinath