Porsche AG’s acquisition of an additional 3.6% stake inAG, which raises its ownership in VW to 30.9%, is expected to become final on March 28.
But Porsche, already VW’s largest shareholder, denies any interest in a complete takeover.
The move is designed “to meet the global challenges in the highly competitive automobile market even better,” Porsche says in a statement.
“The technical and strategic collaboration between Porsche andproduces benefits for both partners.
“This particularly applies in light of the pressure to rationalize and consolidate in the global automobile industry as a result of the increasing international competition, especially from the up-and-coming automobile nations Japan, China (now the second largest automobile producer in the world), India, Malaysia, Russia and others.”
In addition, Porsche’s management board has authorized the creation of a new corporate entity to handle its holdings. This will serve to separate the auto maker’s holdings from its core operations.
“Porsche will remain Porsche,” the statement says. “Nothing will change with regard to the structure of the plants, the suppliers, the production and development partners, the dealers and the other partners. The existing business and legal relationships will remain unaffected by the transaction.”
Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking adds that the move ensures VW will be insulated from takeover attempts by outside investors. “We can now react even quicker should hedge funds want to take a stake in VW,” he tells the German tabloid Bild.
Meanwhile, VW is buoyed by the development. “Given the long-term nature of the automotive business, a stable shareholder structure is very important,” says Management Board Chairman Martin Winterkorn.
“The increased shareholding will also further anchor our cooperation based on the existing governing agreement.”