The planned listing of Porsche AG has generated huge investor interest, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said on Thursday, playing down concerns over how he will manage both companies following the IPO.
Attracting interest from a broad range of investors was important, Blume said, declining to comment on what proportion of Porsche shares Volkswagen plans to offer to retail investors as part of the planned flotation.
Only some investors have asked questions about Blume’s dual role, Blume said on a video call, adding he viewed it was necessary for the executive of the Volkswagen group to also be in charge of a brand.
“If something about Porsche AG is being discussed on the board of the group, I’ll leave the room,” Blume, who became CEO of Volkswagen on Sept. 1, said.
“The strategic leadership of the Group and the operational management of a brand suit each other perfectly … in my view the linking of the two is necessary.”
Volkswagen announced on Monday that it would list sportscar brand Porsche AG this month or in early October, even as some investors criticised the timing of the decision given that war in Ukraine and record high inflation are destabilising markets.
Some also questioned whether Blume, who has headed up Porsche AG since 2015, would be capable of managing both companies at once.
Still, the chief executive said in his first interview since the IPO was announced that he and Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke were thus far getting positive feedback in conversations with investors in Frankfurt, London and New York.
“Despite the market conditions, there is huge interest. That is a great success,” Blume said, declining to provide a forecast for what valuation he expects for Porsche.
The 54-year-old played down concerns over his dual role, explaining he would spend Mondays at Porsche’s Stuttgart headquarters, Tuesdays in Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg office, and divide up the rest of the week as needed.