The spin-off of the drive technology manufacturer Vitesco has not paid off for the shareholders of Continental for the time being.

Before Vitesco went public, for every five Conti shares they had, they had one security from the Regensburg company booked in their custody account - but its value is now even lower than before.

Vitesco was valued at EUR 2.4 billion on Thursday at the first price of EUR 59.80.

Analysts had previously estimated the market value of Vitesco to be significantly higher between 3.3 and 4.4 billion euros.

Continental lost accordingly and now has a market value of almost 20 billion. The share of the Hanoverian auto supplier and tire manufacturer started at 99.63 euros, twelve percent below the closing price on Wednesday. Vitesco is struggling with the change in the automotive industry and must convert the production of transmissions for diesel and gasoline engines to components for electric cars as quickly as possible. Around half of sales of eight billion euros will no longer be part of the core business in the future.

Vitesco boss Andreas Wolf was optimistic on the Frankfurt stock exchange that the radical restructuring would succeed.

"E-mobility is booming," said Wolf, before ringing in stock market trading with the big bell.

The market is growing very dynamically, driven also by pressure from politics and regulation.

According to Wolf, the business with electric drives should be profitable by 2024.

Vitesco has left open what the structural change means for the almost 40,000 employees.

Disinfected stock exchange bell

In view of the corona pandemic, the celebration of the initial notice took place under tightened hygiene conditions. The Vitesco managers stepped one by one to the trading barrier, the stock exchange bell was disinfected after each ring. The guests were strictly separated into groups. On Thursday, Vitesco was - as is customary with spin-offs from Dax companies - the 31st member of the German leading index for one day. By the evening, index funds that replicate the Dax had to throw the papers out of their custody accounts. As a result, increased pressure on the Vitesco share was expected.

By Thursday noon, however, it worked its way up to 66.88 euros. At the same time, the Conti rate crumbled down to 98.30 euros. When Siemens Energy was spun off from Siemens, which took place under similar conditions a year ago, the technology company's share had hardly given way, so that the value of a shareholder portfolio rose sharply.

Continental had hoped for the same effect. With the spin-off of the transmission division, a "block on the leg" of the auto supplier will fall away, said investment bankers. For many investors, this will only enable them to return to Conti. The spin-off was delayed by two years - according to Conti, also because of the corona pandemic. The largest shareholder in both companies is the Franconian billionaire family Schaeffler, which also owns the majority of the auto parts supplier of the same name from Herzogenaurach. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and her son Georg each hold 46 percent of Conti and Vitesco.