Volkswagen announced it intends to sell shares of Porsche AG with an initial public offering (IPO) on public stock markets. The stock launch, which could happen as soon as the end of September, may be the largest in German history, as analysts value the company as worth up to 80 billion Euros, and the stock offering itself could be worth up to 10 billion Euros.
For a brief explainer on corporate structures: Porsche SE is already publicly traded but that company is a joint holding group between the Porsche and Piech families that owns a majority of the (voting) shares in Volkswagen AG, an auto group that owns (among many other brands) the car manufacturers VW and Porsche. If you buy a share in Porsche SE, you only have a second-degree connection to Porsche, the car company. Volkswagen AG, in turn, owns the entirety of Porsche AG, which is the actual car company that makes 911s and Macans, and is currently entirely privately held. Porsche AG is what's going to be made public on the stock market if the launch goes as planned.
Volkswagen AG's CFO said the stock launch will proceed, barring only geopolitical instability, according to Reuters. It's worth noting that instability is still entirely possible in the next month as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and Russia intends to indefinitely halt natural gas shipments to Western Europe, throwing residents of the continent into high risk of heating shortages during the coming winter.
The offering itself, assuming it does happen, will take place on the Frankfurt stock exchange. So far, the Qatar Investment Authority (as in the country itself) has already agreed to buy a 5% stake if the offering goes ahead (the second time the country has owned a direct stake in Porsche). Porsche SE will buy a 25% stake and retain voting rights, which would give the Piech and Porsche families a veto-holding stake under European law. General public investors won't be able to buy voting-rights shares, which means the company will likely remain under the control of the Porsche family.
For fans of the Porsche cars, it's likely an IPO won't change a whole lot of the company's output as a result, but you could frame a nice stock certificate in your garage above your 911 at long last!