Porsche deal

Volkswagen has agreed to buy a 42 per cent stake in Porsche for a value of €3.3bn in advance of a potential merger in 2011.




Volkswagen has agreed to buy a 42 per cent stake in Porsche for a value of €3.3bn (£2.8bn) in advance of a potential merger in 2011.



The announcement follows lengthy boardroom discussions surrounding the financial stability of Porsche.



The latest news means that Volkswagen could merge with Porsche in the next three years. If the merger is successful, the unified company is forecast to have unit sales of around 6.4 million and operate a total of 10 brands.



Volkswagen, which already owns brands including Audi, Lamborghini and Skoda, claims the merger will increase the group’s annual operating profit by a total of around €700m. The company added that this figure could increase due to expected strong growth of Porsche’s vehicle range.



Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of Volkswagen’s Board of Management, said: ‘More than ever before, we now have what it takes to become the automotive industry’s number one. Volkswagen is systematically continuing its successful multibrand strategy by integrating Porsche.



‘Additional new growth opportunities will emerge for Porsche under the umbrella of the integrated group. Following constructive talks, we have agreed a solution that reflects the interests of all parties. I am convinced that the outcome of this integration will be the best vehicles for our customers, secure jobs and the creation of long-term value for our shareholders.’



The merger is likely to be undertaken in several stages. Initially Porsche is expected to sell most of its options on Volkswagen shares to Qatar. At the same time, Porsche will negotiate a new financial structure with its lending banks.



If these talks are successful, then Qatar will acquire the portfolio of options and Volkswagen will take a 42 per cent stake in Porsche by the end of this year. Under the agreement, Porsche will retain its identity and will be headquartered in Zuffenhausen.