Porsche tumbles in the stock market, defying the gloom of the markets

German luxury carmaker Porsche on Thursday made a zigzag course on its first day of listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange to one of the largest operations in the financial center despite a gloomy economic context.

During its first listing, the share was listed at 84 euros, above the IPO set at 82.50, i.e. an XXL value of more than 76 billion euros.

The price rose to 86.8 euros during the session to close at 82.48 euros.

“A big dream is coming true for Porsche,” said Oliver Blume, head of Porsche and Volkswagen, the sports car group’s parent company, before frantically waving the bell marking the start of trading with the title for the predetermined code “P911”.

In front of the stock exchange, a number of racing cars were parked, including the legendary 917 number 22 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971: “Porsche, one of the most successful sports car manufacturers in the world, is entering a new era of increased entrepreneurial flexibility,” the CEO added.

The issue volume makes it the second largest IPO in Germany after Deutsche Telekom in 1996 and the largest in Europe since 2011 with Swiss commodities giant Glencore.

An accession of Porsche in the Dax40, which gathers the cream of German values, should be acquired as soon as the next revision of the index, according to several sources at AFP.

Volkswagen, the world’s second largest manufacturer, has placed only 12.5% ​​of the capital in its bullion on the stock market, but this IPO will bring in about 9.4 billion euros to finance the transition to electric and autonomous cars.

– Carrier luxury –

Porsche has a higher starting line capitalization than other German giants such as BMW (47 billion euros) and Mercedes-Benz (58 billion euros), which sell far more cars than the Zuffenhausen company, near Stuttgart (south).

The operation is all the more exceptional as IPOs fell sharply in the third quarter worldwide, by 56% in volume, amid inflation, rising interest rates and the Russian war in Ukraine, EY analysts note.

And in terms of market capitalization, Porsche is even “the largest company to be listed in Europe this century”, the firm emphasizes.

Volkswagen has secured support from key shareholders in Porsche, such as the public investment funds of Qatar and Abu Dhabi, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and the US asset manager T. Rowe Price.

To lure them, Porsche has raised its operating margin target to a range between 17 and 18%, and revenue should grow by 11 to 14% over 2021, riding on the excellent form of the luxury car sector. .

Faced with a wealthy clientele that is more sensitive to the environment, the brand is converting its range to electric: after the sports Taycan born in 2019 and of which almost 20,000 copies have been sold from January to June, a new electric Macan SUV is expected in 2024 before the launch of yet another SUV in the middle of the decade.

– Influence from Porsche and the Piëch clan –

Before the IPO, Porsche belonged 100% to the Volkswagen Group, which itself is controlled by the Porsche SE holding company, a treasure of the Porsche and Piëch families, who will strengthen their base through this IPO.

Investors have only been able to acquire “preferred” shares – without voting rights – while Volkswagen is selling 25% of the capital plus a share to Porsche SE, which will have a blocking minority in the sports car maker. .

This operation sparked criticism of the group’s management structure.

But “the success of today’s placement shows that issuing non-voting shares has not been a problem for Porsche shareholders,” Arno Antlitz, chief financial officer at Porsche, told AFP. Volkswagen.

The twelve-brand manufacturer will collect a total windfall of around 19 billion euros, half of which will be used to finance battery cell factories and on-board software.

The whole thing “will strengthen Volkswagen and our shareholders as well”, Mr Antlitz is convinced, while the Wolfsburg group, with 84 billion euros in market value, weighs only a fraction of its American rival Tesla, which is valued at around $900 billion.

jpl/smk/bt

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