Porsche's merger with Volkswagen is a step back from Porsche taking outright control of VW, something the automaker has been fighting various German entities to do for over a year. The willingness to co-exist is being put down to Porsche's debt levels, which can't be easy to refinance when banks are holding on to their money like a toddler guarding his last chocolate Easter bunny.

According to reports, the ten brands comprising the conglomerate will maintain their independence and might be presided over current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. The state of Lower Saxony – the power behind the infamous Volkswagen Law – has a 20% stake and veto power concerning VW and it is likely to get up to 25% of the new company, even though it's wary of the financial risks of the merged firm. Another investor could buy 25-35% of the company, leaving the Porsche and Piech families with the remaining 45-55%.

While Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs continue to play with the options, negotiations between Porsche and VW are scheduled to begin this week.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]