The Porsche IPO is set to be one of the largest in European history.
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Porsche shares edged higher in their stock market debut Thursday, in what’s being billed as one of the biggest public offerings in Europe ever.
Shares of the iconic sports car brand initially traded at 84 euros ($81) on Thursday morning. This after they had been priced at the top end of their range late Wednesday, valuing the company at up to 75 billion euros. Parent company Volkswagen is offering 911 million shares, a reference to Porsche’s famous 911 model.
The original range for the non-voting preferred shares was set between 76.50 euros and 82.50 euros in a prospectus released Sept. 19. It’s a “fair deal,” according to Phillip Houchois, managing director at investment bank Jeffries.
“It comes a bit below what we had initially expected. But we have to keep in mind this is a price that is supposed to be affordable,” Houchois told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Wednesday.
Reactions have so far been positive, with cornerstone investors having already claimed around 40% of the shares on offer, according to Reuters.
“The big demand shows the investors’ trust in the future of Porsche,” Volkswagen Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz said, as reported by Reuters and translated by CNBC.
Until now the sole owner of Porsche AG, Volkswagen is reducing its stake in the sports car firm, with a 12.5% slice being listed.
Listing shares should give Porsche a financial boost of 19.5 billion euros, giving the company “more financial flexibility in terms of electric vehicles and digitalization,” according to Antlitz.
The landmark listing comes at a time of market choppiness as the auto industry continues to feel the effects of the war in Ukraine, and valuations of other luxury carmakers including Aston Martin, Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have all dropped in recent months.
“The Porsche AG has completely decoupled itself from the negative market trends,” one investor told Reuters, translated by CNBC. Companies are thought to be delaying going public because of current market conditions.
The IPO isn’t set to be a trailblazer for other companies to follow suit however, as Porsche remains a particularly strong brand with a unique market position. Volkswagen initially announced its plans for Porsche to go public on Sept. 5.
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