Porsche’s Blume: No plans to reconsider dual CEO rule after ‘very positive’ IPO

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Porsche IPO in Frankfurt

By Victoria Waldersee and Emma-Victoria Farr

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Porsche AG Chief Executive Oliver Blume said there was no timeframe planned to re-evaluate his dual role as head of the newly independent sports car maker and the Volkswagen Group, describing it as a deliberate decision.

Porsche AG shares were trading up 2.4% at 1007 GMT from their opening price of 84 euros, reaching a market capitalisation of 78.5 billion euros ($76.1 billion) – close to the 81 billion euro valuation of former parent Volkswagen.

“We are very positive about the first price. Of course we had a gut feeling – the feedback we got from investors was very positive,” Blume said, speaking next to a Porsche Taycan parked outside the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Porsche AG’s solid market debut came despite broadly weaker stock markets following red-hot German inflation data.

In an interview with Reuters, Blume brushed aside concerns about his dual CEO role, saying it was not unusual to lead a brand and a company simultaneously. Some investors have said holding both jobs could create conflicts of interest.

“We made this decision very consciously – there is no time horizon in which it will be re-evaluated,” he said.

Though Porsche AG is targeting 80% electric vehicle production by 2030, Blume denied it was heading towards being a pure-play electric vehicle carmaker, a category that has traditionally done better on stock market lists.

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“We have a very flexible strategy – we offer combustion engine cars, hybrids, and electric cars … this mix is what defines Porsche,” he said.

Looking forward, the sports car brand was focused on solving the last remaining software issues created by delays in the collaboration with Volkswagen’s Cariad unit, setting out distinct strategies for Eastern and Western markets, Blume said.

“I would not rule out that we would have technology that first arrives in the Chinese market and is then rolled out in other markets,” he added.

($1 = 1.0353 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee and Emma-Victoria Farr; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Miranda Murray and Mark Potter)