After publicly musing about the possibility of selling Porsche earlier this year, Volkswagen AG got an offer — for Lamborghini.
British car magazine Autocar reported that a Swiss-based group of investors, Quantum Group AG, forged a partnership with London-based firm Centricus Asset Management to make a $9.2 billion offer for the Italian super car maker.
Volkswagen officials said “No, Lamborghini is not for sale.”
The offer isn’t entirely a shot in the dark. As previously mentioned, VW officials said in February it pondered selling off its Porsche sports car brand to help fund it $86 billion commitment to electric vehicles.
The listing, which reportedly could net as much $30 billion, would only be for part of the sports car maker and wouldn’t occur until next year, the publication reported. Some analysts believe if Porsche AG were to be spun off entirely it could be worth more than $120 billion.
Parent company in a state of flux
Volkswagen has been examining its portfolio of holdings in recent months as it tries to decide what to keep and what to sell off. It is reportedly close to selling Bugatti to Croatian EV hypercar company Rimac.
Porsche AG CEO Oliver Blume said in February that Bugatti and the Croatian electric car company, are well suited, technologically speaking, for each other. Rimac has been considered the lead candidate to buy Bugatti if VW puts it on the market.
“At the moment there are intense deliberations on how Bugatti can be developed in the best possible way. Rimac could play a role here because the brands are a good technological fit,” Blume told the publication.
“There are various scenarios with different structures. I believe that the issue will be decided by the group in the first half of the year,” said Blume, who holds a seat on the management board of parent Volkswagen AG. He was also quick to say that a deal was not imminent.
The art of the non-deal
Autocar, citing the offer documents, said deal included job assurances for existing Lamborghini employees for up to five years as well as 850 new jobs. There are ties to Volkswagen as Quantum Group founding partner Rea Stark is also co-founder of Piech Automobile with Toni Piech, the son of former Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech, Reuters noted.
Lamborghini has been mentioned as a potential divestiture target as the VW considered what brands it may keep and what it may get rid of. In addition to the Porsche and Bugatti, Audi and the company’s motorcycle maker, Ducati could also be on the block.Another way to raise cash to help with the EV funding is to spin off Lamborghini the same way Fiat Chrysler Automobiles did Ferrari a few years back.