Porsche, one of the stakeholders of Rimac Automobili, is set to benefit from this acquisition
Rimac Automobili may just be a 11-year-old electromobility startup which has only built a handful of zero-emission hypercars till date but the Croatian brand has the backing of some big names in the automotive industry. It is not publicly listed yet but Porsche, Hyundai, Jaguar, Koenigsegg and Magna are already part of ever-growing investors. The last round of investment reportedly infused more than 500 million pounds into the high-tech marque.
Rimac to buy Bugatti
Well, you must be wondering that if Porsche holds a stake in Rimac and if VW sells Bugatti to the Croatian brand, isn’t VW technically selling it to itself? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes. Porsche currently owns 15.5% stake in Rimac Automobili but the German sportscar brand would like to have more. Rimac’s high-performance electric vehicle technology is one of the best there is and it is no surprise that Porsche is interested.
At the same time, VW Group wants to unload Bugatti, a hobby brand bought as a crown jewel by the late Ferdinand Piech, former chairman of VW’s supervisory board. With resources directed towards electrification, autonomous driving and digitization, VW’s current management doesn’t want to splurge money on Bugatti’s ultra-low volume hypercar business.
Porsche to benefit
However, Piech’s family still holds substantial stake in VW Group and this could make off-loading historic brands acquired under his reign tricky. This is where Porsche’s interest in Rimac makes things easier for VW Group’s executive board to let go off Bugatti. By selling the French marque to the electric hypercar company, VW aims to kill two birds with a single stone.
In the current challenging scenario, Bugatti is estimated to carry a valuation of around 500 million euros but the transaction with Rimac Automobili is not likely to involve cash changing hands. Instead, VW Group will push for Porsche getting increased stake in Rimac in exchange for Bugatti. Ideally, the German brand would want 49% stake but it remains to be seen how the final figures are going to be after the deal is completed. So, it is more of an organizational restructuring than an outright sale.
Next Bugatti to be an electric hypercar?
From Rimac Automobili’s perspective, owning a marque as prestigious as Bugatti is great for boosting its brand value. Rimac is currently working on introducing the production version of its Concept C_TWO electric hypercar which has over 1,900 hp on tap. If the Bugatti deal materializes, we could be seeing the Chiron‘s replacement employing Rimac’s pure electric powertrain.
The sale of Bugatti to Rimac has reportedly been approved by VW Group’s executive board members but it still is subjected to be approved by the supervisory board members. An official announcement is expected in the coming weeks.