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Porsche bangs the brakes on IPO speculation



BERLIN-

Porsche
AG


POAHY 0,74%

the sports car manufacturer owned by

Volkswagen
AG


VOW3 3.32%

hanged on Monday in his chief financial officer, after he had fueled speculation that the company had a potential listing of a super-luxury group from Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley could discuss the group with up to 70 billion euros.

In an official statement, Porsche tried to reject the comments and reject "speculation" about a possible listing by some or all of the company.

"Porsche is currently not planning a (partial) IPO." The Stuttgart sports car manufacturer denies all reports to the contrary, which demand an IPO, "it said in a statement.

On Friday, Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke made a comment on the sidelines of a media event, but they were only reported on Monday. Porsche did not deny that Mr. Meschke had made the comments or said he had been misrepresented in reports.

Asked by reporters about a possible listing of parts or parts of Porsche, Mr. Meschke said a luxury car group that combines Volkswagen brands Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti would be worth much more than Ferrari, which went public in 201

5 and one Worth about 19 billion euros. He said that a valuation of the Porsche-led luxury group from 60 billion euros to 70 billion euros, according to media reports, "not a long way".

Mr. Meschke also said he had raised the issue with the family of Porsche, the largest shareholder of Volkswagen, and with Volkswagen executives, adding that any decision to go public with Volkswagen's Volkswagen parent Volkswagen is according to the reports.

He seems to have spoken in such terms The detail that analysts and investors rate his comments as a clear indication that Volkswagen was indeed seriously discussing a potential listing of its most valuable brands – which many analysts have suggested to the group.

  Lutz Meschke, CFO and Deputy CEO of Porsche.

Lutz Meschke, CFO and Deputy Chairman of Porsche.


Photo:

Deniz Calagan / Zuma Press

"We believe that a separate listing (preferably as a spin-off) of Porsche AG is one of the most obvious and logical options for the VW Group to release value," said Arndt Ellinghorst, London-based automotive analyst at Evercore ISI. in a note to customers on Monday.

Analysts have long complained that, through its conglomerate structure grouping more than a dozen brands and businesses, the market is drastically underestimating Volkswagen. Mr Ellinghorst suggested that if the company were to outsource minority stakes in various brands and companies, the market value of Volkswagen could increase from the current $ 70 billion to $ 150 billion.

"The VW Group is a story of closed value," said Mr. Ellinghorst.

For this reason, investors caught up with the comments of the Porsche CFO on Monday and increased Volkswagen's share price by nearly 2% by midday Volkswagen also prepares its trucks for business, Traton AG, for a listing, but it still has to set a date for the offer. "Volkswagen has the truck business in its own 100 percent

Ferrari's initial public offering three years ago put pressure on owners of other sports and luxury car brands, and investors appreciate the ability to trade as a listed entity as well as a parent company after an IPO tends to be higher rated.

In the case of Ferrari, its parent company

Fiat Chrysler automobiles

In the course of the spin-off, the shares of NV increased. In the case of Volkswagen, a Porsche listing could significantly increase the company's market value if rated as a luxury brand, such as Ferrari, Ellinghorst said.

While the analysts are confident, Porsche could successfully sell itself to investors as an investor. For a luxury manufacturer, there is a risk of lower valuations if investors do not buy the playing field.

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings

PLC introduced itself to investors as a luxury brand and often compared itself with Ferrari to value the company at more than six billion pounds. But when it went public in the last few months, it had to lower its bid price for the stock and eventually make a valuation of about 4.3 billion pounds ($ 5.7 billion).

Write to William Boston at william.boston@wsj.com


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