Volkswagen said late Sunday that it planned to sell shares in Porsche, the luxury sports car brand it owns, at a valuation of up to $75 billion, setting the stage for one of the biggest stock market debuts of the year.
At that level, Porsche — maker of the 911 sports car and the Taycan electric sedan — would be valued at a higher level than German rivals like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The offering of Porsche on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, months in the making, comes as volatile stock markets have chilled interest in initial public offerings. If the stock sale is completed, Porsche’s public offering will be one of the largest ever in Europe, according to Refinitiv.
It would return Porsche to the public markets for the first time in a decade, after Volkswagen bought the sports car maker following a failed effort by Porsche to buy the much larger Volkswagen. Since then, Porsche had become one of Volkswagen’s most prized brands, reporting 3.6 billion euros ($3.6 billion) in operating profit in the first half of the year.
The companies, whose decades-old histories are deeply intertwined, will retain strong ties after the stock offering. Volkswagen will keep a majority stake in Porsche, and the two automakers will share a chief executive, Oliver Blume.
Volkswagen said in a statement that it aimed to sell about 25 percent of Porsche’s preferred shares at €76.50 to €82.50, potentially yielding as much as €9.4 billion in proceeds. Volkswagen has already secured as investors in the offering the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Norway and Abu Dhabi, as well as the money-management firm T. Rowe Price.
And the Porsche and Piëch families — which trace their roots to the founding of Porsche and are collectively Volkswagen’s biggest shareholder — have agreed to buy a 12.5 percent stake in Porsche at 7.5 percent more than the offering’s price.
That could yield as much as €10.1 billion more for Volkswagen. Unlike the preferred shares being sold in the public offering, the voting stock that the families would receive would give them a significant say in the way Porsche is run.
About half the total proceeds from the public offering would be paid out as a special dividend to Volkswagen shareholders. The remainder, executives have said, would help pay for Volkswagen’s shift to electric vehicles, including the construction of new vehicle batteries.
Trading in Porsche is expected to begin on Sept. 29.