Robert Bosch, the world's largest automotive supplier, discussed the merits of a potential stock market floatation with investment bankers as part of a broader funding review, but has chosen to remain unlisted, people close to the matter said.
Bosch managers invited several bankers to discuss capital market funding needs as the automotive supplier overhauls its business to keep pace with the car industry's shift away from combustion engines toward an electric and autonomous future.
Bosch remains heavily exposed to diesel and combustion engines and shifting production toward electric motors and other components requires billions of euros in investments over a number of years, the sources said.
As part of these deliberations, the flotation of the group or individual business units was pitched by the bankers, the sources said.
"There are no [IPO] plans," a Bosch spokesman said.
Bosch is controlled by the Bosch foundation, which owns 92 percent of Bosch's capital, with the Bosch family holding the rest.
While a number of other German suppliers have listed in recent years -- including brakes supplier Knorr Bremse, bearings maker Schaeffler and lighting group Hella -- Bosch has so far resisted any calls to access the equity market as a source of funding.
On Thursday Bosch said it expects global car production in 2019 to remain at this year's level, citing a cool-down in China and lower demand for diesel cars in Europe.
"Next year will be subdued. But we do not expect a downturn," said Rolf Bulander, the head of Bosch's mobility solutions unit.
Bosch aims for stronger growth in 2019 than the car market as a whole, he said.