Renault SA is pushing on with a plan to list its Ampere electric-vehicle and software unit in the first half of next year, undaunted by recent market jitters and the skepticism of some analysts.
(Bloomberg) — Renault SA is pushing on with a plan to list its Ampere electric-vehicle and software unit in the first half of next year, undaunted by recent market jitters and the skepticism of some analysts.
That time period likely still is the “best window” for an initial public offering, Chief Financial Officer Thierry Pieton said Thursday. Renault earlier reported third-quarter revenue that missed estimates. The shares fell the most in six months.
It’s a difficult time for the listings market, which had begun to show signs of life before shaky IPO performances from chip designer Arm Holdings Plc and sandal maker Birkenstock Holding Plc. The Ampere listing has been postponed once already amid lower-than-expected demand for its flagship EV, the Megane E-Tech, aggressive price cuts by Tesla Inc. and competition by cheaper Chinese vehicles.
Renault has been aiming for a valuation of Ampere of as much as €10 billion ($10.5 billion), which is roughly what the entire company is currently worth.
“The third-quarter publication is disappointing on the volumes front and there’s still questions on the Ampere IPO,” said Eric Hassid, a trader at Aurel BGC in Paris. He added that Tesla’s below-consensus results are also weighing on the sector.
Renault fell as much as 8.2% in Paris, the steepest intraday drop since April 20. The shares are still up roughly 8% this year.
Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo has been busy resetting the carmaker’s troubled alliance with Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co. Completion of a rebalancing agreement is still expected in the fourth quarter. Once that’s finalized, Renault is “free to sell” 28.4% of Nissan shares, Pieton said, adding that any stake sale will be closely coordinated with the partner.
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Renault is also counting on the introduction of 17 new models between now and 2025 to boost market share and gain momentum in the EV transition. Renault’s third-quarter sales climbed 7.6% on better pricing and strong demand for new models such as the Austral sport utility vehicle. But several analysts flagged a negative volume effect in the quarter.
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The manufacturer said its order book in its main market Europe remains robust. Signs of waning demand, though, are growing, as buyers continue to grapple with high inflation that’s eroding purchasing power. Volkswagen AG said last week third-quarter EV orders fell short of its targets, forcing it to lay off temporary workers and cut shifts in German factories in recent weeks.
Renault affirmed its outlook for full-year operating margin of between 7% and 8% and automotive operational free cash flow of at least €2.5 billion. Operating margin in the second part if the year will exceed that of the first half.
The company is due to hold a capital markets day for Ampere on Nov. 15.
(Updates with shares in sixth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the company name in the headline.)
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