VW says Lamborghini is not for sale after reported $9.2 billion bid

FILE PHOTO: The Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder on display at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show

(Reuters) -Volkswagen has received a 7.5 billion euro ($9.2 billion) offer for Lamborghini, British weekly magazine Autocar reported on Tuesday, though VW’s Audi said the supercar brand was not for sale.

The non-binding offer sets out terms for the purchase of Automobili Lamborghini by Switzerland’s Quantum Group AG, which has formed a consortium with London-based investment firm Centricus Asset Management, Autocar reported. (https://bit.ly/3hSmxhW)

The report, citing offer documents, also said that the consortium would include job assurances for existing Lamborghini employees for up to five years and the creation of 850 new jobs.

Quantum Group founding partner Rea Stark is also co-founder of Piech Automobile with Toni Piech, the son of former Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech, according to its website https://www.quantumgroup.ch/imprint.

The reported offer for Lamborghini comes amid uncertainty over whether Volkswagen will keep a sprawling structure that also includes brands such as Ducati, Audi, Porsche and Bugatti.

Volkswagen confirmed that there was agreement in the group that Lamborghini, which has been named repeatedly as a possible divestment candidate in the past, will remain part of Volkswagen.

Asked to comment on the Autocar report, a spokesman for Volkswagen unit Audi, which is in charge of Lamborghini, said: “This is not the subject of any discussion within the group. No, Lamborghini is not for sale.”

Representatives of Centricus and Quantum Group were not immediately available for comment.

Sources told Reuters in October that Volkswagen had drawn up plans to carve out Lamborghini to make it a more independent business within its stable of car brands and facilitate a potential initial public offering (IPO) at a later stage.

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann last week said the brand planned to invest $1.5 billion to produce an entirely gas-electric hybrid line-up by 2024, adding that its first fully electric model will not appear until the second half of the decade.

($1 = 0.8165 euros)

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee, Jan Schwartz, Pamela Barbaglia, John Revill and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Emma Thomasson and David Goodman)