German automaker Volkswagen AG divested its luxury sports car business Bugatti, creating a new company jointly owned by Croatian electric car startup Rimac Automobili and VW's Porsche AG, Interfax reports, citing The Wall Street Journal.
Rimac will be the controlling shareholder with a 55% stake in the joint venture, while Porsche will own the remainder. At the same time, Porsche will retain a 24% stake in Rimac. The new company is expected to officially begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2021. She will be based in Zagreb.
Last year, Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo bought one of 10 Bugatti La Voiture Noire supercars ever produced for about $ 10 million.
Volkswagen began considering selling niche brands and non-core businesses five years ago, but so far the results have been modest. Bugatti's move to a joint venture with Rimac follows the sale of industrial gearbox manufacturer Renk AG and a reduced initial public offering of a minority stake in the Traton SE cargo division in 2019. Efforts to unbundle Italian brands Ducati and Lamborghini received little support and were labeled as hopeless late last year.
Founded in 2009, Rimac specializes in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles, as well as high-tech components for them, which it supplies to other car manufacturers. Rimac's customers include Porsche, Aston Martin, Hyundai, Kia, Pininfarina and Koenigsegg. The company employs about 1,000 people.
Volkswagen shares are down 1.1% in Tuesday trading.