June 1, 2021 3:15 PM, EDT

Volvo Shareholders to Get $2.3 Billion Payout From UD Truck Sale

A Volvo sign outside a company facilityKristian Helgesen/Bloomberg News

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Volvo Group shareholders are in line for a big payout, with the truck maker planning to pass along all of the proceeds from the sale of a Japanese business earlier this year.

The company plans to distribute to investors all of the roughly 19 billion Swedish krona ($2.3 billion) it received from the sale of UD Trucks to Isuzu Motors, according to a statement June 1. The proposal will be put to the vote at an extraordinary general meeting on June 19.

Under Chief Executive Officer Martin Lundstedt, the former head of Volkswagen Group’s Scania, Volvo has sought to become better prepared to withstand market downturns by cutting costs and increasing service sales, which are less sensitive to demand swings. While sales slumped due to the pandemic last year, Volvo posted an operating margin of 8.4%, not far off its 10% target over a business cycle.

“The board believes that the Volvo Group’s improved profitability, resilience in downturns and strong financial position enable a distribution of the proceeds,” Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said in the statement. “Even after the distribution, the group is financially strong with resources to invest in future technologies.”

The UD Trucks deal was reached in October, when Volvo and Isuzu also agreed on a partnership to develop technologies for autonomous driving, connectivity and electric vehicles. The transaction was completed in April.

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