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VW Move to Pull Europe's Largest IPO Casts Shadow on 2019 Market

  • Auto industry slowdown, market sentiment put brakes on deal
  • Nexi, Network International among IPOs planned in coming weeks
Volkswagen AG's Automatic Autostadt Delivery Towers
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Volkswagen AG’s plans to cancel a stock sale of its Traton SE trucks division, in what could have been the largest initial public offering in Europe this year, have cast a pall on the region’s already shaky market for the sales.

The German automaker decided to park the sale after a difficult start to 2019 for the global automotive industry. In addition to sector woes, Europe’s IPO market had the slowest start to the year since the financial crisis and uncertainty around political factors, including the U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union, made a large listing tougher, people familiar with the matter said. Volkswagen was seeking to raise about $3 billion from the sale for a valuation of up to $30 billion, they said.