When Volkswagen and Porsche sat down at dinner to discuss which one was going to eat the other one, they forgot to invite the German tax man. After VW came to terms with Porsche to take a 49.9% stake in the Stuttgart sports car maker for €8 billion (around $11.4 billion U.S.), the parties discovered there would be a €3 billion ($4.26B) tax bill on top of that.
Adding €3B just to conclude the deal, the way it's currently structured, makes it untenable for both parties. Qatar is still in the picture, but until it's decided who would pay the tax and what they would get in return, some sources are saying the whole thing could evaporate. And if that happened, that could force Porsche to turn to one of several unsavory chapters titled "BK" in the commercial code. Neither VW nor Porsche has yet commented on the tax issue. Thanks for the tip, John!