As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, drowning in the proverbial Croatian sea of gloomy news about the failure of the vaccination rollout amid the pandemic and a new wave of mutated coronavirus posing a potential threat, the news that young entrepreneur Mate Rimac has taken over the cult figure of the automotive world, Bugatti, resounded like a nuclear bomb.
The historical success of the Rimac company, which operated out of a mere garage back in 2009, is astonishing. Very few people believed in the company’s plans to create hypercars right here in Croatia, where cars are imported but not produced, but it turned out to be an astronomical success. The business side of the story, however, went under the radar.
The merger of Rimac Automobili and Bugatti Automobiles created a joint venture, known as Bugatti Rimac (in which the newly formed Rimac Group will hold a majority stake), which will be (in)directly controlled by Porsche with 58.2 percent ownership, while Mate Rimac will remain at the forefront, but with a minority stake of 20.4 percent.
The transaction isn’t accompanied by cash flow as such but is a matter of exchanging shares, which reflects the consequent rearrangement of the structure of the Rimac company. With this move, Rimac’s startup actually ceases to be a startup and is being additionally integrated within the umbrella of the VW Group, of which Porsche is of course a part. Rimac Automobili is becoming the Rimac Group (divided into Bugatti Rimac and Rimac Technology) in which Mate Rimac formally holds the largest single stake of 37 percent, Porsche 24 percent, Hyundai 12 percent and other shareholders 27 percent.
The Rimac Group will have a 55 percent stake in the Bugatti Rimac package, which includes the separate brands Bugatti Automobiles and Rimac Automobili. The remaining 45 percent of the shares of the joint venture are held by the German manufacturer, which has been following the Rimac company financially for the last three years.
Despite these figures, which lean significantly in the favour of the German investor, it has been agreed that Mate Rimac will remain at the helm, as the CEO of the Rimac Group he will lead the business of Bugatti Rimac and the new company Rimac Technology. It’s here that the core business that broke through in the automotive industry remains – the development, production and delivery of battery systems, powertrains and other EV components. All of the above will be 100 percent owned by the Rimac company.
“What’s important to note is that the Rimac Group is managed by director Mate Rimac. The owners participate in the management of the company through the Supervisory Board,” stated an explanation regarding German shares. They added that “Rimac Group is the largest shareholder of Bugatti Rimac d.o.o. where Mate Rimac is also the director. Mate is also the director of Rimac Technology, which is 100 percent owned by the Rimac Group.”
Car buffs who follow such news aren’t too surprised by this outcome, although it is almost certain that there was resistance to such a solution. The new Rimac company remains under the control of a young businessman who, despite all the objective obstacles to doing business in Croatia, raised the company from scratch in an industry that is markedly capital intensive. Only twelve years has passed from the aforementioned garage adventures to the presentation of the stunning Nevera, the fastest electric hypercar in the entire world.
The fact that all of the above was done at all is exceptional, but knowing it has been done by a Croat, in Croatia, is bordering on miraculous.
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