Porsche poses a governance dilemma for investors considering an IPO

Georg Kell, head of Volkswagen’s independent sustainability board, defended Blume’s decision to be CEO of Volkswagen and Porsche.

“Keeping Blume in the dual role is a winner. Blume will bring the good cultural experience of Porsche to the Volkswagen Group as a whole,” he said.

Porsche’s valuation estimates vary widely. HSBC analysts this week put the price at between €44.5 billion and €56.9 billion, but a source close to the listing said it was more likely to be €70 billion to €80 billion.

Among Porsche’s listed competitors, Ferrari’s market capitalization is 36 billion euros, while Mercedes-Benz is worth just under 62 billion euros.
“Because of the capital and management structures, there is a risk of conflict of interest in governance,” said Richard Hilgert, principal equity analyst at Morningstar.

“Some investors may be constrained by ESG guidelines to own Porsche,” he added, though he said the offering could be attractive to investors who are less focused on those issues.

Few independent directors

Chi Chan, European equity portfolio manager at Federated Hermes, highlighted Blume’s dual role as CEO as an issue in written comments to Reuters, echoing concerns from investors at Volkswagen, Union Investment and DWS.

Mary I. Bruner