Pretty much every automaker is looking pretty enviously at Tesla, what with its high-flying stock price and piles of free publicity and increasingly, piles of cash too. Volkswagen, I guess, is no different.
That’s at least according to a new report from Bloomberg, which says that Volkswagen is thinking about possibly listing its Porsche brand on the stock exchange, or maybe even spinning it off altogether. That would be one way to capitalize on the Porsche name and, at least for now, capitalize on the stock market frenzy for automakers who seem like they have the slightest clue.
The usual anonymous people familiar with the situation are involved. From Bloomberg:
The world’s second-largest carmaker is speaking with advisers to study the merits of a potential initial public offering or spinoff of Porsche, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. VW could use any proceeds from a listing for acquisitions or technology investments, according to the people.
A Porsche listing could take place next year, though no firm timetable has been decided, the people said. VW plans to keep a majority stake if it pursues an IPO of the business, according the people.
Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for VW declined to comment.
As a reminder, Volkswagen either owns or has majority stakes in Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley, SEAT, Skoda, Ducati and Scania, in addition to Porsche, which is a lot of marques. And it was probably a matter of time before VW began to wonder how it could put one of those to better use, with the stock market heating up for certain car stocks as fine an excuse as any — if this does go through.
VW’s CEO Herbert Diess certainly does seem curious.
“Despite all efforts, we’re currently in a rather more difficult situation than in 2018, when I took office,” Diess said last month. “What really has changed — and what I hadn’t expected to this extent — is the view of capital markets on our industry.”