FRANKFURT -- A potential initial public offering of the Porsche brand could happen as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022, Arno Antlitz, the chief financial officer of parent Volkswagen Group, said.
Outlining the key steps of such a transaction, Antlitz said on Friday that VW would update markets about the progress and timeline of a listing in late summer.
"For me, this marks an inflection point and the ideal timing for the potential transaction in order to ignite our EV shift momentum," VW Group CEO, Herbert Diess, said.
“The actual feasibility of an IPO depends on several different parameters as well as general market conditions,” VW said in a statement on Thursday. “No final decisions have yet been taken.”
VW's rationale for the IPO could partly rests on hopes that it will remove some of the automaker's conglomerate discount and raise its shares, which have underperformed in the European sector over the past 12 months.
"There is no guarantee the market value of (Porsche) will translate into the VW share price unless VW addresses more structural issues of brand/product complexity," analysts at Jefferies wrote.
VW's sprawling structure, which among others includes the Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini brands, has long been seen as weighing on the valuation of the group.
Shares in VW and its top shareholder Porsche Automobil Holding SE were up 4.5 percent and 5.1 percent in early Frankfurt trade, respectively, after the companies late on Thursday fleshed out details of a possible listing of Porsche.
The announcement comes on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sparked volatility across world markets and concerns of higher energy prices.
Europe’s biggest automaker announced two days ago it mapped out a framework for a possible deal and was in advanced talks about an IPO of the group’s most profitable division. An offering would lift the group’s valuation and help fund its shift toward electric cars.
The planned listing, estimated to value Porsche at as much as 85 billion euros ($95.3 billion) by Bloomberg Intelligence, would partly reverse a tumultuous takeover of the Stuttgart-based company more than a decade ago.
VW revealed more details of a possible IPO on Thursday. The brand’s share capital would be split 50 percent between preferred shares, which don’t carry voting rights, and 50 percent common shares with voting rights.
Up to 25 percent of the preferred shares could be sold on the capital market and Porsche SE, the main investment vehicle of the Porsche and Piech billionaire owner family, would acquire 25 percent plus one share of the ordinary shares. This would give the family a blocking minority on strategic decisions.
VW will propose the distribution of a special dividend in case of a successful IPO amounting to 49 percent of the total gross proceeds. This would help the Porsche and Piech families to finance their acquisition of the direct stake in what used to be their family enterprise.
Bloomberg contributed to this report