Friday, 19 March 2021

VW Boss Clarifies Info Surrounding Alleged Rimac Bugatti Purchase

March the 19th, 2021 - Volkswagen's boss has spoken out about the information which has been circulating for months now about the alleged Rimac Bugatti purchase. Rumors have been doing the rounds for some considerable time, and speculation has been rife.

As Novac writes, rumours about an alleged Rimac Bugatti purchase, more specifically that Rimac Automobili would take over Buggati, have been flying around for a while now. The main body of these rumours was how Volkswagen could restructure the business of its entire concern by merging Rimac, Porsche and Bugatti into one unit which would work together to produce supercars. Now, for the first time since the proverbial rumour mill began operating, Volkswagen's Herbert Diess has spoken out, writes Seebiz.

He explained the fate of this reorganisation in a conversation during the annual VW press conference. Currently, Bugatti is in the phase of moving under the cap of Porsche, which will become its umbrella company. At the same time, Porsche increased its stake in Rimac Automobili from 15.5% to 24%. Both moves go in the same direction, and that is the creation of a separate unit specialising in advanced technologies and supercars that would take advantage of the synergistic effect of all those involved.

After the merger of Bugatti with Porsche, in the form of a partnership, talks will begin with Rimac, which will also be taken care of by Porsche, explained Diess, confirming that the VW group had absolutely no plans to "sell Bugatti to Rimac".

Instead, the responsibility for Bugatti will be shifted to Porsche, which could then form a joint venture with Rimac, in which Porsche will hold a minority stake. That joint venture could include Bugatti, so Rimac Automobili and Bugatti could indeed be merged.

These were roughly the expectations when the information about the merger of Bugatti Rimac with Automobili first appeared in Croatia, and now it has been officially confirmed for the first time.

The exchange of ownership shares, the transfer of control to Porsche and then the creation of a new joint venture - this is what is set to follow if Diess' plan ends up being realised. Nothing has been confirmed or agreed on yet, but now at least the direction in which Volkswagen's department for supercars and modern sports electric vehicles will develop is known.

For more, follow our business section.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Porsche Invests Further 70 Million Euros in Croatian Rimac Automobili

March the 8th, 2021 - Porsche has decided to invest a further 70 million euros into the Croatian Rimac Automobili company, owned by Livno-born entrepreneur Mate Rimac.

As Ivan Luzar/Telegram writes, Porsche has invested an additional 70 million euros in Croatian Rimac Automobili, taking Porsche's stake in the company up to 24 percent. The news of this additional investment was somewhat expected, as last week we wrote about a potential 130 to 150 million euro investment from the giant company. The same was said by the founder of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac to the German automotive magazine Automobilwoche.

Rimac Automobili has as such reached a value of 795 million euros, or 947 million US dollars, writes Reuters. Last week, the Croatian Rimac Automobili commented on the news of the increase in Porsche's share in the company headquartered in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb, thus confirming that the German company was set to increase its share, but that Rimac Automobili will still remain independent. Then, as now, they still have not commented on the news of the possible takeover of Bugatti, which has been talked about for months.

Porsche invested for the first time back in 2018

Porsche invested in Rimac Automobili back in 2018, when they took over a 10 percent stake in the company, and just a year later, they increased that stake to 15 percent. Now, two years later, Porsche has bought an additional 8.8 percent for the aforementioned 70 million euros.

"Rimac is well positioned for the production of prototypes and cars in small series. Rimac Automobili is on its way to becoming one of the main suppliers for Porsche, but also other manufacturers in the high-tech segment of the automotive industry,” said Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke.

Since back in 2018, when Porsche first invested, Rimac has almost doubled its number of employees to a thousand. They have also undertaken various collaborations in the automotive industry, such as the one(s) with Hyundai, Kia and Aston Martin.

Rimac: "The amount of the investment is not a priority"

Mate Rimac commented on Porsche's new investment on his Facebook profile: 

Can there be a better confirmation of a successful partnership than 3 separate investments within 4 years?

Getting Porsche initially on-board was extremely important for us. Having confirmed that they did the right thing and that we have earned Porsche’s trust, makes us very proud.

This 70M Euro investment is part of our long-term strategic collaboration, where different aspects of strategic collaboration can be expected in the future. The valuation and amount raised are not the priority in this deal. We are working on some other transactions that will reflect the market value of Rimac as a company.

We are all excited to see the fruits of this ever-deeper cooperation.

For more on Rimac and Croatian entrepreneurship and companies, follow Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Investments and Employment - Zagreb Company Infinum to Work with Porsche

November the 12th, 2020 - The Zagreb company Infinum is set to create for no less than the automotive giant Porsche, a move which will be accompanied by the opening up of new employment opportunities and an enormous investment.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Tanja Ivancic writes on the 11th of November, 2020, the Zagreb company Infinum has been operating within the IT sector for 15 years now, and its last venture, ie the launch of yet another new company, opened up yet more doors for them.

''My mum taught me how to drive when I was just 15. I always tell the story of how it took me several days to learn to ride a bike - on the other hand, it only took me a few minutes to learn to drive a car. I’ve always loved cars, motorcycles and actually everything on wheels. There's something beautiful in the common nature of engineering, design and passion that cars bring together in one place. And no car brand in the world does it better than Porsche, and it's the same feeling in starting a new company and doing business with our new partners Porche Digital,'' announced Tomislav Car, co-owner and CEO of the Zagreb company Infinum.

Namely, Infinum, a Zagreb company engaged in software design and development, and Porsche Digital, a subsidiary of the huge German sports car manufacturer Porsche, launched a new company back in September - Porsche Digital Croatia. It is a digital technology development centre that, as was announced, will employ 100 professionals over the next three years to work on software design and development, artificial intelligence and machine learning, developing products and services that will work to further enhance the digital ecosystem.

Mate Rimac was the glue

In the new company, partners Infinum and Porsche Digital have equal ownership shares, and according to their current business plans, as much as 10 million euros will be invested in the company and product development.

''The automotive market is progressively adapting to new technologies and business models, so those who are triggering changes today will shape the digital market in the long run,'' said Tomislav Car, CEO of the Zagreb company Infinum, explaining that he will develop products in two main directions: one part refers to digital products which will be used by buyers and potential buyers of cars, and the second part will be related to production and other internal processes.

At the same time, the already wildly successful Zagreb company will continue to develop digital products for their customers. The leaders of Porsche Digital, which has offices all over the world, were contacted by the Infinum family through no less than Mate Rimac. As Car recounted, they ''clicked'' very quickly and realised that they were thinking similarly about technology and business.

''I hope that our cooperation will bring knowledge from Germany that we may not have yet and that together we will continue to develop such an ecosystem in Croatia,'' stated Car.

It's worth noting that the talented Tomislav Car founded Infinum back during his student days, fifteen years ago. He described this Zagreb company's very early beginnings on his website back in 2012.

''Matej Spoler, my colleague and co-founder of Infinum, and I met at high school in Karlovac. We both loved creating new things, which by chance were related to technology. There was everything, from software for PC, mobile phones and the web, and even a few avant-garde projects. I remember when Matej built water cooling for his computer to optimise the computer cooling process, and I built a computer into the boot of my first car in order to always have a large collection of music with me,'' recalls Car.

40 percent growth

Since then, the Zagreb company Infinum has grown to 280 employees and associates across as many as a dozen countries. They mostly work for western markets and their clients are global companies from all over the world. Last year, at the Group level, they had a consolidated 82 million kuna in revenue, and this year they expect to have around 100 million kuna in revenue and around 300 employees. Their average annual growth over the last five years has stood at about 40 percent. Infinum's operations and all of their investments were financed exclusively from their own reinvested earnings.

The co-owners of the Infinum group, along with the two founders, are Nikola Kapraljevic and Josip Biscan, who will also make up the management team of the new company Porshe Digital Croatia. When it comes to other companies owned by Tomislav Car, there is also CircuitMess, which he started with Albert Gajsak.

Regarding the motives that drive him, Tomislav Car says that his main desire and challenge is to create something new, regardless of whether it is a product or starting a company. For now, says Car, they aren't thinking about selling Infinum even though they do have an offer.

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