Continental spinoff Vitesco struggles in market debut

BERLIN — Shares of Vitesco Technologies were broadly flat on Thursday in a volatile market debut that highlights the challenges faced by the German auto supplier spun off from Continental.

The stagnant share price, combined with a drop in the price of Continental’s shares compared with Wednesday’s close, meant that Continental shareholders were left with a drop in the value of their holdings as a result of the spinoff.

Continental shareholders received one Vitesco share for every five Continental shares they owned. At close, that was worth about 5 percent less than five Continental shares at yesterday’s market close.

Continental, among the world’s largest auto suppliers, delayed the spinoff of Vitesco — which produces powertrains for internal combustion engine (ICE), hybrid and electric cars — by two years due to unfavorable market conditions worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were confronted by developments that no one had foreseen,” Vitesco CEO Andreas Wolf said at the Frankfurt stock exchange, adding “the corona crisis fully confirmed our strategy… e-mobility is booming.”

Vitesco shares started trading at 59.80 euros per share and swung between 56.89-66.88 euros in the course of the day. At the end of of the afternoon, they traded at around 58.7 euros per share, giving the company a market value of 2.34 billion euros ($2.75 billion).

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