A decade after the billionaire Porsche clan said goodbye to its crown jewel, the family wants to regain more direct influence over the sports car maker as parent company Volkswagen AG pushes ahead with one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings.
The stock sale, which Porsche is expected to value at up to 85 billion euros ($84 billion) – roughly the same as the parent company – could bring in about 10.6 billion euros for VW. The Porsche family is still headed by some of the same personalities who lost control of the iconic automaker in 2009 after a failed takeover attempt by VW, leaving the company with a blocking minority.
A comeback for the Porsche heirs?
This is a comeback of sorts for Porsche’s heirs, who are reeling after the sports car maker’s audacious attempt to swallow its much larger rival. In terms of both technical heritage and founding families, the two companies stock The still-incumbent family boss, Wolfgang Porsche, is the cousin of the late Ferdinand Piech, a longtime VW executive who turned the automaker into the multibrand giant it is today.
The value of the sports car maker’s and Piech’s families’ stakes in the eponymous holding company is around $10.5 billion, and according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, they have received at least $2.9 billion through dividends over the past decade.
Shares acquired from VW
In 2005, the group set out to quietly acquire shares in Volkswagen, a company then 15 times the size of the sports car maker, with the goal of eventually gaining complete control. But the financial crisis that shook markets around the world forced Porsche Holding to abandon the bid in 2009. VW then turned around and swallowed Porsche. The years-long battle culminated in July 2009 in a staff meeting in the pouring rain, at which the sports car maker’s management and owning family conceded defeat. Nevertheless, Wolfgang Porsche remained steadfast in a tearful speech, vowing that “the Porsche myth lives and will never perish.”
This was followed by a complex deal in which the sports car maker was gradually integrated into VW’s extensive brand portfolio alongside Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley. The family became the parent company’s anchor shareholder. The family’s roots go back to Wolfgang Porsche’s grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche, who developed the VW-Volkswagen and later the Beetle. Ferdinand’s son Ferry Porsche built up the sports car business. The first automobile to bear the Porsche name was registered in 1948, the 356 “No.1” Roadster. Today, the clan includes several dozen descendants, although only a few of them play an active role in the company.