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Renault Is Considering Issuing An IPO To Separate Its Electric Vehicle Division

Renault Is Considering Issuing An IPO To Separate Its Electric Vehicle Division
French car maker Renault said on Friday that all possibilities for separating its electric vehicle (EV) business were on the table, including a possible public listing in the second half of 2023.
Renault's finance head, Thierry Piéton, said any plans would be subject to Nissan's approval, but that the Japanese automaker was "in the loop" as Ranault considered its alternatives.
Renault has been moving forward with plans to divide its electric car and combustion engine operations as it tries to catch up to competitors like Tesla and Volkswagen in the battle to cleaner driving.
Last month, Ford said that it would handle its electric vehicle company apart from its traditional combustion engine operations.
The news came as Renault reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue, with higher prices and increased electric vehicle sales essentially offsetting the impact of the Ukraine conflict and a global semiconductor shortage.
After Bloomberg reported that Renault may consider lowering its shareholding in Nissan as part of its ambitions to separate its EV business, the shares of the company momentarily jumped as much as 5 per cent.
Renault has yet to respond to the situation.
"We do not comment on speculation," a Nissan representative stated when questioned about the claim.
Renault shares were up 1.4 per cent in early afternoon Paris trading.
The company, which also produces Dacia and Lada vehicles, reported a 2.7 percent drop in revenue from a year ago to 9.75 billion euros ($10.6 billion). According to Refinitiv estimates, analysts predicted revenue of roughly 9.61 billion euros.
With Avtovaz and Renault Russia excluded, revenue fell 1.1 per cent to 8.9 billion euros.
Renault announced last month that it would halt operations at its Moscow facility while it considers its options regarding its controlling interest in Avtovaz, Russia's largest automaker.
The French automaker said on Friday that talks on the future of its Russian operations were "ongoing and progressing."
The dip in first-quarter revenue came after a 17 per cent drop in vehicle sales to 552,000 units, the lowest quarterly total for Renault since the global financial crisis began in 2008.
Fully electric and hybrid car sales increased by 13 per cent and accounted for 36 per cent of overall sales, according to the company. As the business chases sales of more profitable cars, prices were up 5.6 per cent from the first quarter of 2021.
J.P. Morgan analysts called it a "solid quarter" in a client note.
"Renault continues to deliver on its pricing and model rationalization policy and today’s result comes in as another step in the right direction," they wrote.
Renault reiterated its March financial forecast of a 3% operating margin in 2022, and said it would provide a more detailed update on its aims and strategy later this year.
Renault's anticipated car output will be reduced by 300,000 vehicles in 2022, largely in the first half of the year, due to a global scarcity of semiconductors, which are used in everything from brake sensors to entertainment systems, according to the firm.
Renault's order book reached a 15-year high of 3.9 months of sales at the end of March.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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