LONDON, July 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Volvo Cars has taken a strategic pit stop ahead of a mooted initial public offering. On Wednesday the Swedish car marque announced it would buy the 50% of its Chinese joint venture that it doesn’t own from parent company Zhejiang Geely for an undisclosed sum read more . That will give Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson full control over its China operations when the People’s Republic relaxes ownership rules next year.
The deal looks like a canny manoeuvre to rev up the automaker’s stock market value . China accounted for a quarter of Volvo’s total car sales last year. The company’s aggressive electric vehicle targets – Samuelsson aims to phase out gas guzzlers entirely by 2030 – are another reason to raise its China exposure: Jefferies reckons the country will account for nearly half of all zero-emission ride sales this year. Volvo’s IPO advisers have been given a well-timed boost. (By Christopher Thompson)