Volkswagen boards to discuss listing of sports car brand Porsche

The company could raise up to $10.55bn through the IPO

An employee fixes a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S label, at the car maker's factory in Germany. Reuters
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Volkswagen's management and supervisory boards will meet on Monday to discuss whether the long-anticipated listing of sports car brand Porsche should go ahead in late September or early October, the carmaker said on Saturday.

A decision will also be made on whether Volkswagen approves of the sale of 25 per cent plus one share of ordinary shares in Porsche AG to Porsche SE, as laid out in a framework agreement by the two parties in February.

That would give the Porsche and Piech families, which control Porsche SE, a blocking minority — a step that would bolster their push for greater control of the carmaker that was founded by their ancestor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931.

Porsche SE, which owns 31.4 per cent of Volkswagen and holds 53.3 per cent of voting rights, confirmed Monday's meeting in a separate statement, adding that the listing's launch was still subject to market developments and further board discussions.

Under the framework deal reached in February, 25 per cent of preference shares will be sold on the open market, equal to 12.5 per cent of Porsche's total capital.

Even that could raise up to €10.6 billion if the brand's valuation reaches the higher end of investor estimates at about €85bn, according to Reuters calculations.

That would make the listing among the largest in German history and the biggest in Europe since Enel in 1999, according to Refinitiv data.

Ordinary shares, which would be solely owned by Volkswagen and Porsche SE under the plans, would not be publicly listed.

Some investors have questioned the timing of a stock market debut that would test the appeal of Europe's largest car maker at a time when the valuations of leading companies have shrunk amid the instability of war and record energy costs.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the shareholder families are putting their interests first," said Henrik Schmidt, governance expert at Volkswagen investor DWS.

Updated: September 04, 2022, 4:17 AM
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