Porsche, Piech families may take direct stake in possible Porsche IPO, report says

FRANKFURT — The Porsche and Piech families are prepared to take a direct stake in Volkswagen Group’s Porsche brand if the sports-car unit is separately listed, two people familiar with the matter said.

Such a move would loosen the families’ grip on VW Group in favor of direct ownership of the Porsche brand, which dates back to 1931 and was founded by Ferdinand Porsche.

Speculation about a listing of the unit earlier this year included estimates of a standalone valuation of Porsche ranging from 45 billion to 90 billion euros ($55 billion to $110 billion), compared with 135 billion euros for VW Group.

While saying that a possible initial public offering of Porsche is not high up on the agenda, VW continues to weigh scenarios for a listing, the people said, adding that the key obstacle remained VW’s complex stakeholder set-up.

That set-up was carefully crafted in the wake of a failed takeover of VW by Porsche in 2009, which resulted in VW acquiring the Porsche brand while the Porsche and Piech families became VW’s most influential investors.

Today, the families’ holding company, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, owns more than half of the voting rights as well as a 31.4 percent equity stake in VW Group.

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