• Sep 2nd 2007 at 9:53PM
  • 4
Reports are circulating that Porsche is trying to buy Volkswagen. Porsche took 30 percent ownership of VW in March. A takeover offer was made then but less than 1 percent of VW shareholders accepted the offer. I mean, come on! Talk about a clash of cultures.
Porsche makes sports cars. VW does carbon offsets. When you think VW, James Dean in a roadster race car is probably not the first ting that comes to mind. Maybe Porsche has seen the modern Deans (DiCaprio, Damon) driving a Prius and decided to buy VW's green tech? The times they are a changin'.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Der Spiegel magazine, citing unnamed sources in the stock market, say it may take a while to cross the 50 percent mark. So expect the 7 billion euro deal to break the start of 2008. Then VW Beetle drivers everywhere can feel a little bit cooler.

Update: While it may seem like a clash of cultures, Porsche and VW has had a very long and close working relationship.

[Source: Forbes]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hooper, You are correct! The offer was low. Clash of cultures and Porsche seeing a change in culture is blogger theorizing. Water cooler talk, you know :D There are a few statements from VW too that make you wonder how well the sale might go. See link below. I thought the companies made an odd mix. What do you think?

      • 8 Months Ago
      It's long been rumored that Ferdinand Piech, chairman of the board at both Porsche AG and VW AG as well as Ferdinand Porsche's grandson, is trying to crown his career by re-uniting the two companies. Porsche originally lost control over what was then called KdF ("Kraft durch Freude") after the war because of his collaboration with the Nazis. All he was allowed to keep was his engineering consultancy in Stuttgart.

      The original beetle was, of course, designed by Porsche, as was the derivative 356 depicted with James Dean above. Subsequent collaborations included the 914, the 924 and of course, the Cayenne SUV.

      Nostalgia alone, however, counts for little in the cutthroat car business these days. Originally, Porsche AG invested in VW AG primarily so it could fend off a hostile takeover of VW by a foreign hedge fund, which had been rumored at the time. That could have threatened the supply chain of its highly profitable SUV models. The rumor now is that Porsche is dissatisfied with the lack of collaboration on new models that would help the sports car brand improve the CO2 emissions of its product line.

      Commingled with the looming threat of CO2 regs is the expectation that the European Court will soon overturn the "Lex VW", which limits the voting rights of any VW shareholder to those of the state of Lower Saxony (20.6%), regardless of the actual stake held. Piech has long clashed with Lower Saxony's prime minister Wulff.

      Meanwhile, Porsche AG CEO Wendelin Wiedeking, also a patrician CEO strongly committed to maintaining manufacturing industry in Germany, recently turned down a demand from Bernd Osterloh for seats on Porsche's board, in recognition of Germany labor laws and Porsche AG's 30% stake. Osterloh is the chief representative of the powerful IG Metall union at VW's core plant in Wolfsburg. If Porsche AG does cross the 50% ownership threshold, it will not only have to announce this publicly but also give Osterloh what he wants. It'll be interesting to see if Piech and Wiedeking will cook up a construct to defang the union as they establish de facto majority control over VW.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I was totally wrong then. I will update the article.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "A takeover offer was made then but less than 1 percent of VW shareholders accepted the offer. I mean, come on! Talk about a clash of cultures."

      German law (at least at that time) required that Porsche make the offer to VW shareholders but Porsche didn't want to take control of VW at that time, so they offered VW shareholders just the minimum price per share required by the law, which I presume was substantially below market. I'm curious why you say VW shareholders turned them down because of the corporate culture clash. Was that blog humor?
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