By Arno Schuetze and Ilona Wissenbach
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL], the world’s largest car parts maker, discussed the merits of a potential stock market floatation with investment bankers as part of a broader funding review, but has chosen to remain unlisted, people close to the matter said.
Bosch managers invited several bankers to discuss capital market funding needs as the automotive supplier overhauls its business to keep pace with the car industry’s shift away from combustion engines towards an electric and autonomous future.
Bosch remains heavily exposed to diesel and combustion engines and shifting production towards electric motors and other components requires billions of euros in investments over a number of years, the sources said.
As part of these deliberations, the flotation of the group or individual business units was pitched by the bankers, these people said.
“There are no (IPO) plans”, a Bosch spokesman said.
Bosch is controlled by the Bosch foundation, which owns 92 percent of Bosch’s capital, with the Bosch family holding the rest.
While a number of German car parts makers have listed in recent years – including brakes supplier Knorr Bremse <KBX.DE>, bearings maker Schaeffler <SHA_p.DE> and lighting group Hella <HLE.DE> – Bosch has so far resisted any calls to access the equity market as a source of funding.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Ilona Wissenbach; Editing by Edward Taylor)