Volkswagen details Porsche IPO, will retain control

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Porsche could be on a stock exchange by the end of the year, if plans laid out by parent Volkswagen are approved by both companies’ boards.

After confirming earlier this week that it was considering a floatation of the sports car brand, Volkswagen has now outlined how it intends to take Porsche public once again.

Porsche’s stock will be split evenly between ordinary shares with voting rights, and preferred shares without voting rights.

The Porsche-Piech family — through its confusingly-named Porsche Automobil Holding SE — will acquire 25 per cent plus one of Porsche’s ordinary voting stock, giving the Porsche-Piech clan a blocking minority stake in their namesake marque.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) also plans on taking a holding in Porsche. With its 14.6 per cent stake, the QIA is currently the second largest single shareholder in Volkswagen behind the Porsche-Piech families on 31.4 per cent.

As part of the proposal, Volkswagen will pay out a special dividend of 49 per cent of the gross proceeds from the float, helping the Porsche-Piech family or QIA pay for their stakes.

Funds from the IPO will also be used for a special payout of around €2000 ($3150) each to 130,000 Volkswagen employees.

Only 25 per cent of Porsche’s preferred non-voting stock will listed on the stock exchange as part of the initial public offering (IPO).

As such, Volkswagen will continue to hold a majority stake in Porsche, and will continue to include the brand in its financial statements “by way of full consolidation”.

While Porsche’s 301,900 sales only make up 3.5 per cent of the Volkswagen Group’s 8.6 million sales in 2021, the luxury marque’s hefty profit margins mean it constitutes a significantly larger proportion of the automaker’s profits.

Bloomberg estimates Porsche could valued at around €85 billion ($134 billion). Money raised from the float will likely be used to fund the Volkswagen Group’s on-going development of electric vehicle architectures, new EV models, and autonomous driving research.

The companies say “industrial cooperation between Volkswagen AG and Porsche AG [will] continue after an IPO”.

Since the Porsche brand became a part of the Volkswagen Group in 2011, it has become tightly integrated into the larger automaker’s research and development system. 

In addition to using group platforms, such as MLB for the Macan and Cayenne, it has developed the MSB architecture that underpins the Panamera and Bentley Continental.

The Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT share the same EV platform, and the two brands are engineering the upcoming Platform Premium Electric (PPE) that will form the basis of the second-generation Macan and new Q6 e-tron.

According to Automotive News, Arno Antlitz, the Volkswagen Group’s chief financial officer, the Porsche IPO could happen as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022.

MORE: Which brand owns which, and how did we get here?

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