Porsche IPO proceeding despite weakening market, investor details expected to follow on Monday.
Porsche AG’s initial public offering (IPO), due to proceed by early October, will be made up of 911 million shares in an apparent reference to its iconic sports car.
These shares will be split 50:50 into 455.5 million preferred shares and 455.5 million ordinary shares, with only the former being listed publicly.
Some 12.5 per cent of the company will be offered directly to existing Volkswagen Group investors in a move that Porsche CEO Oliver Blume called an “icebreaker”, expected to raise funding for a raft of new electric cars.
This is despite the market having been weakened by inflation and mounting geopolitical tensions, such as the war in Ukraine. The German DAX index is down 19.1 per cent year to date as of 15 September.
Although the Volkswagen Group initially said the stock offering was subject to the aforementioned market conditions, Porsche chief financial officer Lutz Meschke said on 6 September that “if a potential IPO would be stopped now, we’re talking about severe problems” of such gravity that “by then a potential IPO wouldn’t be a real issue”.
The money generated from the stock offering will give Porsche greater flexibility to invest in new technologies, according to Volkswagen Group chief financial officer Arno Antlitz.
Autocar previously reported that Porsche is currently developing more advanced battery technologies for six next-generation electric models due to be launched between 2024 and 2027.
Blume said in a statement that the IPO will “open up a new chapter” for Porsche and “strengthen [its] ability to further execute [its] strategy”.
Porsche shares will initially be offered to various banks and brokers in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
The Volkswagen Group has split the shares into two categories: 50 per cent preference shares – which give holders priority over receiving dividends – and 50 per cent ordinary shares, which allow voting rights for issues such as company strategy but tend to be of a lower priority when dividends are distributed.
The Porsche and Piëch families were also approved for 25 per cent plus one of the ordinary shares through Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the majority shareholder of the Volkswagen Group, at the IPO price plus 7.5 per cent. This gives the families veto powers for Porsche’s major strategic decisions.
The Qatar Investment Authority – which owns 10.5 per cent of the Volkswagen Group – has also signalled that it intends to purchase a 4.99 per cent stake in Porsche AG through the IPO.
Should the IPO prove successful, the Volkswagen Group will hold an extraordinary general meeting to propose paying shareholders a 49 per cent dividend on the total gross proceeds of the IPO.
The Volkswagen Group is yet to announce a share price for Porsche; this is expected to be decided later this month.
According to various analysts, Porsche is worth between €60 billion and €85bn (AUD$90bn and $127bn). However, CMC Markets – a UK financial services company offering online trading in shares – has the German firm rated at more than €90bn (AUD$134bn).
Regardless of the finer details, this range eclipses Europe’s previous most valuable IPO: Deutsche Telekom’s €13bn (AUD$19bn) listing in 1996.
Antlitz said the Porsche IPO also gives the Volkswagen Group greater flexibility on a public offering for its battery division, Powerco.