The Porsche assembly plant in Stuttgart, Germany, on September 26, 2022 (AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE)
The German luxury car manufacturer Porsche made a zigzag course on its first day of trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Thursday, for one of the largest operations in the financial center despite a gloomy economic context.
In its first listing, the share was trading at 84 euros, above the IPO price set at 82.50, that is, an XXL valuation of more than 76,000 million euros.
The price rose to 86.8 euros during the session to close at 82.48 euros.
“A great dream is coming true for Porsche,” said Oliver Blume, boss of Porsche and Volkswagen, the sports car group’s parent company, before frantically shaking the bell marking the start of the title swap with the fated code ” P911”.
In front of the Stock Exchange, a row of racing cars was parked, including the mythical 917 number 22 that triumphed in 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 with greater business flexibility,” added the CEO.
The Porsche logo at the headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, on September 26, 2022 (AFP/ THOMAS KIENZLE)
The issuance volume makes it Germany’s second-biggest IPO after Deutsche Telekom in 1996 and Europe’s biggest since 2011 with Swiss commodity giant Glencore.
A Porsche addition to the Dax40, bringing together the cream of German stocks, should be bought as soon as the next index revision, according to multiple AFP sources.
Volkswagen, the second largest manufacturer in the world, has only put 12.5% of the capital of its nugget on the stock market, but this IPO will contribute some 9,400 million euros to finance the transition to electric and autonomous cars.
– Luxury carrier –
Porsche has a higher capitalization at the starting line than other German giants such as BMW (47 billion euros) and Mercedes-Benz (58 billion euros), which sell many more cars than the firm from Zuffenhausen, near Stuttgart (south). .
Key figures of Porsche AG (AFP /)
The operation is all the more exceptional given that IPOs fell sharply in the third quarter worldwide, 56% in volume, in a context of inflation, rising interest rates and the Russian war in Ukraine, point out the EY analysts.
And in terms of market capitalization, Porsche is even “the largest company to go public in Europe this century,” the firm stresses.
Volkswagen has secured the support of key shareholders in Porsche, such as the Qatari and Abu Dhabi public investment funds, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and US asset manager T. Rowe Price.
Assembly of an electric Porsche Taycan at the Stuttgart factory on September 26, 2022 in Germany (AFP/ THOMAS KIENZLE)
To attract them, Porsche has raised its operating margin target to a range between 17-18% and turnover should grow between 11-14% compared to 2021, taking advantage of the excellent moment in the luxury car sector.
Faced with a wealthy clientele more sensitive to the environment, the brand converts its range to electric: after the Taycan sports car born in 2019 and of which nearly 20,000 copies have been sold from January to June, a new electric Macan SUV is expected in 2024 before of the launch of another SUV in the middle of the decade.
– Influence of the Porsche clan and Piëch –
Before the IPO, Porsche belonged 100% to the Volkswagen group, in turn controlled by the Porsche SE holding company, treasure of the Porsche and Piëch families that will strengthen their base through this IPO.
The Porsche assembly plant in Stuttgart on September 26, 2022 in Germany (AFP / THOMAS KIENZLE)
Investors have only been able to buy “preferred” shares – without voting rights – while Volkswagen sells 25% of the capital plus one share to Porsche SE, which will have a blocking minority in the sports car manufacturer.
This operation generated criticism of the group’s governance structure.
But “the success of today’s placement shows that the issue of non-voting shares has not been a problem for Porsche shareholders,” Arno Antlitz, chief financial officer of Porsche Volkswagen, told AFP.
The manufacturer with twelve brands will collect a total windfall of around 19 billion euros, half of which will be used to finance factories for battery cells and on-board software.
The set “will strengthen Volkswagen and also our shareholders”, Antlitz is convinced, while the Wolfsburg group, with a market capitalization of 84,000 million euros, weighs only a fraction of its American rival Tesla, valued at about 900,000 million of dollars.
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