Shares of Porsche soared on their Frankfurt debut as the German automaker defied a global economic slowdown and feverish markets to complete one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings.
The 75 billion euro listing marks a rare bright spot for an IPO market hit by the end of the equity bull run and an energy crisis in Europe.
Shares of majority-owned Porsche, Volkswagen, rose 2% at the start of the day, but ended virtually at €82.70 in Frankfurt on Thursday, while the broader German market was down 1%.
The Stuttgart-based company sold the shares on Wednesday at €82.5, the high end of the price range.
VW is announcing a 12.5% stake in Porsche, its most profitable brand, as it seeks to raise funds to help pay for its investment in electric vehicles. Part of the 9.4 billion euros that VW has raised through the sale of the stake will be paid to its shareholders in the form of a special dividend.
“The high level of demand demonstrates investor confidence in Porsche’s future,” said VW chief financial officer Arno Antlitz. “The proceeds from the IPO will give VW significantly more financial flexibility as it transforms into electromobility and digitalization.”
The German group wants to spend the rest of the proceeds to develop electric cars, a sector in which the company is committed to becoming a world leader.
Former VW boss Herbert Diess has set a goal of beating Tesla in power sales by 2025, forcing the group to sell millions of battery models.
Diess was replaced this summer by Porsche chief executive Oliver Blume, who will lead the publicly traded sports car maker as well as its German parent company.
The Porsche Taycan, the electric sports car that outsold Porsche’s flagship 911, was the brand’s first foray into battery-powered models.
A Taycan was among the Porsches on display Thursday in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, as well as a range of 911s from the brand’s history.
Around 150 executives, bankers and auto advisers gathered at the historic Frankfurt Stock Exchange building to celebrate one of the few major listings since the start of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Alastair Mankin, vice chairman of the financial services group Cowen, said the absence of a strong rise, or “pop” in market jargon, can be disappointing, particularly because “many investors don’t have not obtained a valid allocation during the IPO”. .
“Most felt the stock was priced for success, so this start to trading will be somewhat disappointing,” he said.
A banker who worked on the IPO told the Financial Times that ‘it’s a really shitty day’ for any IPO due to the sluggishness in the markets, adding that he was relieved the stock was negotiate anyway.