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Volkswagen shares up 2.7% in early trade on truck listing plans

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Volkswagen shares up 2.7% in early trade on truck listing plans
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   -   Copyright  Fabian Bimmer(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen shares were up 2.7% in early trade on Tuesday after the multi-brand carmaking group said it would press ahead with a listing of its trucks unit Traton in what could be Germany’s biggest share offering this year.

Volkswagen said in a statement late on Monday that its supervisory board and board of management agreed to prepare an IPO for Traton before the 2019 summer break, “subject to further market developments”.

The company in March delayed an initial public offering for the trucks unit, blaming market conditions, amid rising trade tensions and fears about an uncontrolled exit of Britain from the European Union.

In a surprise move on Monday, VW said it would resume preparations for an IPO in summer this year. VW had previously said it could list up to 25% to raise up to 6 billion euros (5 billion pounds).

Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said Traton was worth 15 billion to 16 billion euros. “A listing should be positive as the current VW balance sheet is in our view a constraint on Traton’s ability to execute on its ‘Global Champion Strategy’.”

“Current market assessments have encouraged us to taketoday’s decision,” Volkswagen finance chief Frank Witter said in a statement.

Traton includes the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen trucksbusinesses. Volkswagen wanted to list it as part of its drive to create a global trucks business.

Volkswagen also said it was looking into options for its MAN Energy Solutions business, which makes large diesel engines for ships and power generators, as well as transmissions maker Renk, including joint ventures, partnerships, a full or partial sale.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Volkswagen had approached several companies to gauge their interest in buying MAN Energy Solutions, which is expected to achieve a valuation of about 3 billion euros in a potential sale.

The moves are part of Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess’s efforts to slim down and simplify the group which has 12 brands, trucks, buses, motorbikes, cars and electric bicycles as part of its business.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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