A Ferrari-style IPO appears unlikely.
The news regarding a possible spin-off of the Porsche brand from parent company Volkswagen Group first came to light last month, though a final decision on the matter has not been decided. Those in favor of doing so point to Fiat Chrysler's hugely successful 2015 Ferrari listing as the ideal blueprint. There are some within Porsche, including chief financial officer Lutz Meschke, who are strongly in favor of proceeding with an IPO.
Estimated to be worth anywhere from $83 billion to $109 billion, Porsche is one of the world's most valuable brands. The VW Group, as a whole, is valued at around 220 billion euros. Without Porsche, that figure would dramatically decrease, though any IPO deal would include a dividend to enable VW some Porsche-generated income.
However, it's looking more likely that a deal won't happen, at least not anytime soon. VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, who's not in favor of spinning off Porsche, has now made public comments on the matter. Diess told German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine that "The topic of the Porsche IPO is currently not a high priority for me." Although the automaker won't be left completely high and dry without Porsche, it would still lose too much cash flow.
"At the moment there is a lot to be said for using the money for our structural change," said Diess. "You don't want to give up a pearl like Porsche." The "structural change" he's referring to is the massive investment required for electrification and autonomous driving.
The Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, and Volkswagen ID.4 are only the beginning of what's widely expected to be an all-electric future. Porsche is needed to help fund that. Plus, it's an R&D powerhouse, though not quite at the level of Audi. "In my opinion, evaluating the Group parts individually does not fit into a time when our transformation to e-mobility will bring enormous synergies across all company divisions," Diess continued. Those hoping to buy Porsche shares seem to be out of luck, for now.
Porsche recently expanded its stake to 24 percent in Croatian electric hypercar and R&D company Rimac, and sources have hinted this partnership could soon include Bugatti as well. Incorporating Rimac tech into the VW Group with Porsche at the helm could be a far better long-term business decision than taking Porsche public.