German carmaker Volkswagen has announced plans to list the Porsche sports car brand on the stock market, despite turmoil in stock markets due to high inflation and the energy war between Russia and Europe. Investors expect the market value of Porsche to be estimated at 60 to 85 billion euros.
The initial public offering (IPO) of Porsche shares could be among the largest in German history and the largest in Europe since 1999, according to Refinitiv's highest estimates. Qatar is set to be the lead investor and intends to commit to buying a 4.99 percent stake in the company.
There are also plans to offer preferred shares to retail investors in several European countries, including France, Spain and Italy, to tap into Porsche's loyal fan base. Volkswagen also approved the sale of 25 percent of Porsche AG to Porsche SE, which means the Porsche and Piech families will secure a controlling minority stake in the company.
Sources close to the negotiations also said that Volkswagen could give potential buyers more than the planned four weeks to express interest in buying Porsche shares, but also that it could abandon the IPO if investors do not show enough enthusiasm.
"It would only be a technical green light, nothing more. It paves the way (to an IPO), but it doesn't guarantee that the stock market bell will actually ring in the end,” one of the sources said. Volkswagen said the IPO would be a significant step in the company's transformation as it aims to develop its software and electric vehicle offerings.
Insisting on listing on the stock exchange amid market turbulence is solely in the interests of the Porsche and Piech families and their desire for greater control, according to Volkswagen's DWS management expert Hendrik Schmidt.
The market conditions are currently very unfavorable
"The market conditions are currently very unfavorable," emphasizes the head of sustainability and corporate governance at Deka Investment Ingo Speich, not wanting to say whether his company will buy Porsche's shares.
The German Automobile Association expects four percent fewer cars delivered in Europe this year, which would mean delaying the eagerly awaited recovery from the pandemic crisis, notes Reuters.
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