Porsche Family to acquire more than 25% of carmaker as IPO nears

VW, Europe’s biggest carmaker by sales, said the companies’ boards would meet on Monday to discuss the private placement of common stock and whether to move forward with an initial public offering of 25 percent of non-rights preferred stock in the voice of Porsche. If approved, Porsche shares could begin trading at the end of the month or early October, VW said.

Porsche SE is an investment fund, majority owned by the family of the founder of the brand, while Porsche AG is the car manufacturer itself.

Industry analysts have estimated that the listing could value Porsche, maker of the 911 sports car and Taycan electric sedan, at between 60 billion and 85 billion euros, which equates to a range of about $59.72 billion to $84.6 billion. This means that the IPO could raise more than 10 billion euros, or twice as much together with the share placement.

That would make it one of the biggest IPOs in Europe in years. The largest recorded IPO in Europe was the listing of Italian energy group Enel SpA, which raised $17 billion in 1999, according to Dealogic. But VW’s decision to float only the non-voting shares has angered some investors and could make it harder to get the highest price for the shares, analysts said.

The way Porsche’s listing is structured, keeping voting shares for insiders and floating non-voting shares for other investors, “is mainly to secure the family as the main shareholder in Porsche,” said Ingo Spaich, head of sustainability and corporate governance at Deka Investment. “The family wants to keep the reins in their own hands.”

Recent management changes at VW are also worrying investors. At the end of July, the Porsche-Pich family helped pushes Herbert Dicewho has been CEO since 2018 and is credited with restoring VW’s tarnished reputation after the company’s management and diesel emissions cheating scandal in electric vehicles.

Volkswagen’s new CEO Oliver Blume also runs Porsche.


Daniel Rolland/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The board chose Porsche CEO Oliver Blum to replace him as head of VW, but angered some investors by allowing Mr Blum to keep his post as Porsche boss. Some investors see the potential for a conflict of interest in the dual role, especially ahead of the planned IPO.

In late July, a survey of investors by Bernstein Research found that 71 percent of respondents thought Mr Blum’s dual role would have a negative impact on Porsche’s IPO.

VW Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz said in July that the company was still committed to an IPO, which he said would give Porsche more entrepreneurial independence while VW “will get more flexibility in financing the transformation.”

VW launched an internal review in February to prepare a potential Porsche listing. While the European economy suffered from surge in energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, VW executives have reaffirmed their commitment to an IPO in recent weeks.

Ahead of the listing, up to 25 percent of the company’s Porsche shares will be split into ordinary voting shares and non-voting preferred shares, VW said in February. The Porsche family will acquire 25 percent plus one voting share of Porsche AG common stock at a 7.5 percent premium to the IPO price, VW said in February, pending an internal review.

In addition, VW will issue 25% of Porsche’s non-voting preferred shares.

The listing will provide additional funding for VW’s transition into a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles and for investments in autonomous driving and battery development.

The acquisition of a blocking minority in Porsche would also mark a symbolic turnaround for the heirs of Ferdinand Porsche, designer of the original VW Beetle, and his son Ferri Porsche, who turned Porsche into a leading sports car maker after World War II.

By 2007, Porsche was so valuable that it tried to take on the much larger Volkswagen. After the financial crisis, Porsche ran into difficulties due to the huge loans it took out to finance its takeover bid and later abandoned the effort.

In 2012, Volkswagen acquired Porsche AG, making the family the largest shareholder in VW. By acquiring a blocking minority in Porsche, the family will regain some of its control over the carmaker.

Write to William Boston c [email protected]

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