Ford is considering selling Volvo, possibly to BMW, according to reports.
Swedish newspaper, the Goteborgs Posten, reported on Monday that sources within Ford had said that BMW has been studying taking over Volvo. The Financial Times also reported that BMW is in informal talks to acquire Volvo. It said that BMW has recently been looking at Volvo’s books but, according to one source, BMW already has everything that Volvo could offer, so would probably not end up acquiring the company.
Following the sale of Chrysler to Cerberus, there has been some speculation that a private equity firm may be interested in Volvo. The Financial Times referred to rumours that Nordic Capital had been looking at the company, but this was dismissed as being too big a deal for the company.
The Goteborgs Posten concluded that a sale to Renault–Nissan is a more likely outcome.
Ford acquired Volvo in 1999 for US$6.5bn.
According to Reuters, the investment bank Merill Lynch has estimated that Ford could raise over US$9bn by selling its luxury car brands, grouped under the division Premier Automotive Group. Other brands in the group include Jaguar and Land Rover.
In March, Ford announced the sale of the Aston Martin brand, also formerly part of Premier Automotive Group, to a consortium of US and Middle East business interests from America and the Middle East, headed by Prodrive founder and owner David Richards. Ford raised US$925m from the sale.
The sale of Aston Martin raised speculation that Ford would sell Jaguar or Volvo. Volvo Cars chief executive Fredrik Arp told Reuters in March that Ford was committed to keeping the Swedish car maker.