VW eyes sale of assets accounting for 20 percent of revenues: WSJ

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE is actively working on deals to sell non-core assets accounting for as much as 20 percent of the German carmaker's annual revenues, The Wall Street Journal quoted its chief executive as saying on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO - A man uses phone under a Volkswagen logo at the Shanghai Auto Show, in Shanghai, China April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

Matthias Mueller told the Journal that a new team was working to sell businesses no longer considered critical.

The Volkswagen group last year generated just over 217 billion euros ($260 billion) in revenues.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters this month that Volkswagen had put the 1.5 billion-euro sale of Ducati motorcycles on hold after resistance from German trade unions and internal rifts on strategy.

Labor leaders at VW, who hold half the seats on the 20-member board, have strongly opposed a sale, regardless of price.

Mueller told the Journal that Volkswagen’s governance structure meant that the talks over Ducati would take time.

“The list (of asset disposals) has not been put away on the shelf. But we’re not going to let anyone tell us which decision to make,” the paper quoted him as saying.

He also said that any talk of a possible merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) FCHA.MI was "speculation".

“We’re a big company and don’t have any interest in getting any more bloated. There has been a lot of speculation about FCA, which we’ve noted, but it is just speculation and nothing more,” he said.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has previously wanted to merge with General Motors GM.N but was rebuffed repeatedly, and while he briefly flirted with the idea of a tie-up with Volkswagen, he said in June that there were no talks with anyone at present.

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Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich