The long, winding road to Volkswagen’s Porsche IPO

The long, winding road to Volkswagen’s Porsche IPO

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) announced its intention to float sportscar maker Porsche on Monday, marking a new phase in a sometimes fraught relationship between the two leading auto brands that goes back decades.

1931
Ferdinand Porsche opens a design office, the first stage of a business that will later become the eponymous sports car maker.

1938
Porsche, who designed the first VW Beetle, oversees the building of the first production hall for Volkswagen.

1960
State-owned Volkswagen is privatised, with both the federal government and the company’s home state of Lower Saxony receiving a 20% stake.

1993
Ferdinands Porsche’s grandson Ferdinand Piech becomes chief executive of Volkswagen, meaning “the people’s car” in German. His revolutionary “platform strategy”, which involves using the same basic design for different models and adding bespoke components on top, allowed economies of scale and was credited with saving the company from possible collapse.

2002
Piech appoints Bernd Pischetsrieder as his successor as CEO and Piech becomes Volkswagen’s chairman, a position he will hold until 2015.

2005
September – Porsche says it plans to buy a 20% stake in VW and later emerges with a 10.3% voting stake.

November – Porsche’s supervisory board authorises an increase in the stake to 29.9%, triggering speculation it plans to gain majority control.

2007
April – Porsche submits a mandatory takeover offer for Volkswagen after crossing 30% threshold.

2008
March – Porsche SE’s supervisory board gives the go-ahead to raise its Volkswagen voting stake to over 50%.

October – Porsche SE says it holds stock and options that give it control of 74% of Volkswagen’s votes and announces plans for a “domination” agreement. A resulting scramble for Volkswagen shares by shortsellers caught out by the announcement briefly makes VW the world’s most valuable company.

2009
January – Porsche SE says it has raised its VW voting stake to 50.8% and confirms its plan to raise stake to 75% later if conditions allow.

May – Porsche SE drops the Volkswagen takeover plan and says it will instead pursue a merger with Europe’s largest auto maker. Volkswagen Chairman Piech says Porsche must get its 9 billion euro debt under control before any deal can be agreed.

July – Porsche SE Chairman Wolfgang Porsche, Piech’s cousin, calls an extraordinary supervisory board meeting for July 23 to discuss a possible sale of a stake in Porsche SE to Qatar worth over 5 billion euros. A proposal by Porsche’s board to prepare for a capital increase of at least 5 billion euros ($5 billion) in cash and/or a contribution in kind, is approved by the supervisory board, setting the stage for a merger with Volkswagen. Porsche SE Wendelin Wiedeking steps down.

December – Volkswagen says it has bought 49.9% of Porsche SE’s sports car business Porsche AG at a cost of 3.9 billion euros.

2010
January – A group of investment funds sues Porsche SE and two of its former top executives, accusing them of fraud in a “short squeeze” that caused the funds to lose more than $1 billion from Porsche’s attempted takeover of Volkswagen AG in 2008.

April – Elliott Associates, L.P. says the securities fraud and manipulation lawsuit against Porsche SE has got bigger, that it is seeking more than $2 billion in losses and 18 investment funds have joined the lawsuit.

October – Auto holding Porsche SE says it may not be absorbed into Volkswagen by the end of 2011, as planned, due to some unresolved legal and tax issues related to the deal, the CEO of both companies, Martin Winterkorn, says.

2012
July – Volkswagen agrees to buy the remaining 50.1% stake in Porsche AG from Porsche SE for about 4.5 billion euros.

Porsche AG, the carmaker, is now fully owned by Volkswagen AG, while Porsche SE, which is controlled by the Porsche and Piech families, is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder and holds a majority of voting rights.

2022
February – Volkswagen and Porsche SE say they are examining a possible initial public offering of Porsche AG, under a proposed structure that would give Porsche SE a blocking minority in the eponymous carmaker.

September – Volkswagen announces its intention to list Porsche at the end of September or early October.

($1 = 0.9984 euros)

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