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Porsche shares flat at close after landmark $72bn listing

Porsche IPO Porsche
Porsche investors include Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund
  • Germany’s biggest listing since Deutsche Telekom in 1996
  • Porsche ‘the pearl in the Volkswagen Group’
  • Listing will help fund the carmaker’s electrification drive

Porsche AG shares had a see-saw start on Thursday after Volkswagen defied volatile markets to list the sports car brand at a valuation of €75 billion ($72 billion) in Germany’s second-biggest market debut.

The shares closed at €82.50 ($80.74), returning to their issue price from the session high of €86.76.

Volkswagen priced Porsche AG shares the top end of the indicated range, and raised €19.5 billion via the listing to fund the group’s electrification drive.

Cornerstone investors including Qatar Investment Authority, T. Rowe Price, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and Abu Dhabi’s laid claim to 40 percent of the share offering.

Some 25 percent plus one ordinary share went to the Porsche and Piech families via Porsche SE, Volkswagen’s largest shareholder which now has a blocking minority on the sportscar brand.

The shares peaked at 86.76 in late morning.

The share performance puts Porsche AG’s valuation at about €75.43 billion, only slightly below former parent Volkswagen, which is worth around €80.1 billion, and ahead of rivals such as Ferrari. It is Germany’s biggest listing since Deutsche Telekom in 1996.

Shares in Porsche SE, Volkswagen’s largest shareholder, which now also owns a blocking minority in the sportscar brand, were down by 10.9 percent as investors switched across. Volkswagen’s shares were down 6.9 percent from Thursday’s open to €128.5.

Traders said some investors who bought Volkswagen and Porsche SE as an IPO play could be unwinding their positions and switching into Porsche AG, undermining Volkswagen’s aim of bumping up its capitalisation by showcasing the value of just one of its brands.

“Porsche was and is the pearl in the Volkswagen Group,” said Chris-Oliver Schickentanz, chief investment officer at fund manager Capitell.

“The IPO has now made it very transparent what value the market brings to Porsche.”

Porsche electric vehicle
Looking to the future: the Porsche Mission E electric concept car

Volkswagen CEO Arno Antlitz told Reuters the listing had done its part in helping to fund the carmaker’s electrification drive.

Of the €19.5 billion raised from the IPO, around €9.6 billion will go to Volkswagen – just under a fifth of the €52 billion budget needed for electrification plans – with the rest distributed among shareholders as a special dividend.

“We are well set-up financially and have strong cash flows to fund our electromobility strategy ourselves,” the chief financial officer said.

‘Not a dream environment’

Volkswagen priced Porsche AG shares at the top of the range despite broadly weaker stock markets after red-hot German inflation data and general market turmoil stirred by rising interest rates.

“This is not exactly a dream environment for an IPO today,” said QC Partners wealth manager Thomas Altmann.

Volkswagen has said the market’s volatility was precisely why fund managers were sorely in need of a stable and profitable business like Porsche AG in which to invest.

A banker involved in the transaction described the Porsche listing as a one-off, predicting the market would freeze over again very soon.

The listing broke records, reaping the highest amount since Deutsche Telekom in 1996.

But Porsche is trading at a multiple of around 7.2 times its earnings – far below Ferrari’s multiple of 40.

Companies in the region have raised $44 billion from equity capital markets deals up to September 27, Refinitiv data shows, with only $4.5 billion from initial public offerings.

“There’s a lot to like about the company, with its aggressive electrification plans, expected strong cashflow generation and premium brand positioning in the market,” Chi Chan, portfolio manager European equities at Federated Hermes Limited, said.

“However, it is coming to market at a time of unprecedented turmoil and consumer confidence is falling.”

Porsche AG chief executive Blume, whose dual role as the new head of Volkswagen has drawn criticism from some investors, hailed the listing as an “historic moment” and dismissed the idea that he would at some point give up one of the two positions.

Up to 113,875,000 Porsche AG preferred shares, carrying no voting rights, were sold in the IPO.