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Volkswagen boards to discuss Porsche listing on Monday

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Volkswagen boards to discuss Porsche listing on Monday © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Attendees look at the 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS during the 2021 LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu/File Photo

By Victoria Waldersee

BERLIN (Reuters) -Volkswagen’s management and supervisory boards will meet on Monday to discuss whether the long-anticipated listing of sports car brand Porsche should go ahead in late September or early October, the carmaker said on Saturday.

A decision will also be made on whether Volkswagen (ETR:) approves of the sale of 25% plus one share of ordinary shares in Porsche AG to Porsche SE, as laid out in a framework agreement by the two parties in February.

That would give the Porsche and Piech families, which control Porsche SE, a blocking minority – a step that would bolster their push for greater control of the carmaker that was founded by their ancestor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931.

Porsche SE, which owns 31.4% of Volkswagen and holds 53.3% of voting rights, confirmed Monday’s meeting in a separate statement, adding that the listing’s launch was still subject to market developments and further board discussions.

Under the framework deal https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/volkswagen-top-shareholder-strike-framework-deal-porsche-ipo-2022-02-24/ reached in February, 25% of preference shares will be sold on the open market, equal to just 12.5% of Porsche’s total capital.

Even that could raise up to 10.6 billion euros ($10.55 billion) if the brand’s valuation reaches the higher end of investor estimates at about 85 billion euros, according to Reuters calculations.

That would make the listing among the largest in German history and the biggest in Europe since Enel (BIT:) SpA in 1999, according to Refinitiv data.

Ordinary shares, which would be solely owned by Volkswagen and Porsche SE under the plans, would not be publicly listed.

Some investors have questioned the timing of a stock market debut that would test the appeal of Europe’s largest automaker at a time when the valuations of leading companies have shrunk amid the instability of war and record energy costs.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the shareholder families are putting their interests first,” said Henrik Schmidt, governance expert at Volkswagen investor DWS.

($1 = 1.0049 euros)

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