• Feb 20th 2009 at 5:02PM
  • 15
Some analysts are wondering if Porsche isn't running itself more like the Blackstone Group than as an automaker. The option trades it used last year to take control of Volkswagen netted the German automaker €6.8 billion. The business of selling cars netted Porsche just €1 billion over the same period. And that's not all: Porsche made an additional €392 million trading shares in other companies on the German exchange.
This has industry watchers trying to figure out how Porsche is looking to make its money, especially considering that its total stock exposure is €31 billion. Even though Porsche has valued its stake in VW at less than half the current value of VW shares, the concern is that VW shares are overvalued and another industry jolt could drive them below the price Porsche paid. And that has people wondering whether the ensuing writedown would cause the controlling Porsche and Piech familes to lose control of the company or inject personal funds to prop it up.

Beyond those hypothetical concerns, Porsche has the real challenge of refinancing a debt that currently comes due at the end of March. With severely reduced cash flow from actually selling cars, Porsche might be looking at unconventional measures, or even the trading floor, to help it out. But after making jokes at the opening of the Porsche Museum that went 100% over budget, if Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is nervous about the company's financials, you'd never know it.

[Source: Financial Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its neither...its a PHONE Manufacturerrrr
      • 6 Years Ago
      Porsche's actions were in complete compliance with German securities regulations and laws regarding the accumulation of a controlling position in a publicly traded German company. The people and entities losing money as a result of Porsche's actions were for the most part run by highly educated financial professionals who have the background to understand the risks they were taking and the potential consequences. Shorting stock is very risky even without legal market manipulation. The rich fat cats who lost their shirts shorting Volkswagen stock got what was coming to them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At least Porsche builds product.

      If they are behaving fraudulently, I hope they get prosecuted for that fraud. That is the law.

      If this is just envy and vilification pointed toward smart, ethical capitalism, then the detractors can stuff it. Porsche has been profitable, which is kind of the goal for corporate survival, and providing competitive jobs for the purpose of making competitive products. Unfortunately capitalist-bashing has recently become socio-politically popular.

      But at least they make mid-engined, manual transmission, flat-6 powered sports cars, which is what I aspire to own one day. People don't have to buy them, but for people who prefer them, thankfully someone builds them, and does it well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't really know German law but if Porsche did what it did in the US there would be people in jail. It's against the law in the US to slowly accrue options to purchase shares without proper disclosure. It's price manipulation pure and simple. You're not allowed to build up a secret stash of stuff (in this case VW shares) only to drive up the value of your holdings.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Some say the Stig is Warren Buffet :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Criticism of manipulating the market is quite different from "capitalist bashing" (not saying that this is what Porsche has engaged in).

        As long as Porsche played w/in the "rules", it's all fine (the question of whether there needs to be better regulation or enforcement is another matter).
        • 6 Years Ago
        But what is "manipulating the market", exactly?

        If it is fraud, insider trading, etc... it is already illegal, and should be enforced.

        If it is legal behavior, then it is just something other people wish they had thought to do, instead, or specific expression of jealousy and envy, which is the jealous or envious person's problem.

        If it is legal, but should be illegal, then that is a legislator's true duty, not fomenting class warfare, and creating welfare states all over the planet. (not only the US is doing that...)

        If it is illegal but should be legal, then it needs to be challenged in court, and the law repealed, rescinded, or struck down, as government over-extension, and should be fought for by people with "skin in the game" on that issue.

        if legal behavior is immoral, then it is the media's job to let people know how, where, and why it is happening, so that an educated populace can make educated decisions to support or not support that company's products or services.

        What else is there? This applies very nearly universally to any person or company that does any business of any kind.

        If you behave responsibly and protect your fiscal situation, or vice versa, if you are fiscally irresponsible, and rely on others to bear your consequences via government spending... you are "manipulating markets" that affect you.

        You have to be much more specific as to what you mean by "manipulating markets." How?
      • 6 Years Ago
      So what if they make money in other places then just selling cars. they are alive and well, doing what they do best. allot of us work jobs we dont like to afford a chance to play, they can afford doing what they like to do. DONT be naive and think other manufacturers are not also trading in the market.

      The museum is awesome and dream of seeing it one day, its just money anyways.

      IF they are doing something illegal, yes they should be caught and what not. but it dosent sound like they are.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every auto makers envy porsche's sucess.

      Without Car manufacturing, porsche can make more income.

      I don't think porsche will die.
      Everybody want porshce, Everybody think porsche as a deam car.

      Whoever owned porsche company, its brand remain forever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I, for one, have never wanted a Porsche.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Build benchmark world class sports cars AND make a profit?

      Is the rest of the auto industry doing it wrong?

      Go Porsche!
      • 6 Years Ago
      porsche...ruling two industries at the same time. there really is no substitute.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hello to all.

      i have to agree with chris johnson in regard to what porsche did. porsche is not based in the usa. they are based in germany. they were working within german rules and regulations.

      porsche has stated for a while now that their goal was to aquire volkswagen ag. and the reason is obvious to anyone who has been looking at the automotive industry for awhile.

      porsche cannot earn enough money to do everything it wants to do. so they formed joint ventures with volkswagen. after all, it was dr. ferdinand porsche who engineered the kdf car (strength through joy) which subsequently became volkswagen.

      so all in all, this is for self-preservation of porsche ag by the porsche-piech family. some months back, car magazine interviewed i believe dr. ferry porsche as to why they purchased volkswagen. also the bbc has an article online about it.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting how widely and regularly Porsche is discussed and 911 referenced in the motoring world when their share of the world's annual production is so miniscule
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