Shares in Volkswagen rose sharply on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Tuesday after reports its principal shareholder was considering selling part of its holding to finance an investment in a possible Porsche spin-off.
At market close, shares in Germany’s largest carmaker were up 8.63 percent on the day at 185 euros ($208), outperforming the blue-chip DAX index, which was up 2.82 percent at 15,813.94.
According to the German financial daily Handelsblatt, the Porsche and Piech families, who together hold 31.4 percent of the Volkswagen group through the holding company Porsche SE, were exploring the sale of stock as part of a blockbuster deal.
A spokesperson for the Porsche family holding company, which has a majority of the voting rights in Volkswagen, told AFP the report was “pure speculation”.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Volkswagen said the group was “always looking at options” to support its corporate strategy but declined to comment on any further details or to confirm any deal.
Shares in the holding company Porsche SE were also up 8.46 percent at the end of the day, closing at 81.52 euros.
According to the report, the funds raised would be put towards the purchase of a “notable shareholding” in the luxury car brand Porsche — separate to the Porsche holding group — which is currently part of the Volkswagen stable.
The potential spin-off of the iconic carmaker, named for the Porsche family, from the larger group would help Volkswagen finance its own shift towards electric vehicles.
An IPO for the Porsche sports-car brand has over recent months been discussed in the media and by analysts, but VW chief executive Herbert Diess has in the past dismissed the rumours, insisting that Porsche has its place among the group’s premium brands.
According to Handelsblatt, the Porsche holding company would seek to remain the single-largest shareholder in Volkswagen while raising funds in the order of 15 billion euros in a possible sale.
The Volkswagen group — whose 12 brands include Audi, Porsche and Skoda — is pumping 35 billion euros into the shift to electric vehicles and aims to become the world’s largest electric carmaker by 2025. (AFP)