Porsche and Piech families weigh the direct share of possible IPO sources from Porsche
The Porsche and Piech families, who control Volkswagen’s largest shareholder (VOWG_p.DE), are ready to get a direct stake in Porsche AG in the event that the luxury automaker is listed separately, said two people familiar with the matter.
Such a move would loosen the families’ influence on Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen, in favor of direct ownership of the legendary sports car brand founded by their ancestor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931.
The speculations about a listing of the aggregate at the beginning of this year included estimates of an individual valuation of Porsche AG between 45 and 90 billion euros (55 to 110 billion US dollars) compared to 135 billion euros in the Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen said that a possible IPO of Porsche AG is not high on the agenda, but continues to weigh up scenarios for a listing. The main obstacle continues to be VW’s complex stakeholder list.
This mindset was carefully crafted after a failed takeover of Volkswagen by Porsche in 2009, which resulted in Volkswagen taking over the well-known brand while the Porsche and Piech families became VW’s most influential investors.
Volkswagen has not made a decision as to whether Porsche AG should be listed separately and there is no guarantee that such a move will take place.
Today the families hold all common shares in Porsche Automobil Holding SE (PSHG_p.DE), which holds more than half of the voting rights and a 31.4% stake in Volkswagen.
According to the news, Volkswagen shares even rose 1.8% to the top of the German blue-chip DAX index. The Porsche SE share even increased by 1.9%.
Porsche Automobil Holding and Volkswagen declined to comment.
The sale of some of the voting rights to Volkswagen to the co-shareholder Lower Saxony, who holds 20% of the voting rights, would be an opportunity for the families to acquire direct ownership of the brand of the same name and to keep activist investors away, say Stifel analysts.
“We believe that this scenario would satisfy all parties,” they wrote, adding that while the families would regain control of Porsche AG, Lower Saxony would have a blocking minority and the unions would be happy about the inflow of funds.
When asked about a possible listing earlier this month, Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess said that the Group’s current cash flow is sufficient to finance an ambitious turnaround into the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles.
($ 1 = 0.8201 Euro)
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