Hedge fund managers have been suing Porsche for years now, alleging that the car company lied about its intentions during its failed attempt to take over Volkswagen, a gambit that caused them billion in losses. Over the same period, authorities in Stuttgart built a criminal case against former CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (above, left) and Chief Financial Officer Holger Härter (right), filing charges in December 2012. When those fund plaintiffs lost their most recent court case, one of the dimmin
Investors have canvassed courts in Europe and the US to repeatedly sue Porsche over its failed attempt to take over Volkswagen in 2008 (see here, and here and here), and they have repeatedly failed to win any cases. You can add another big loss to the tally, with Bloomberg reporting that the Stuttgart Regional Court has dismissed a 1.4-billion euro ($1.95B US) lawsuit, the decision explained by the court's assertion that the investors would have lost on their short bets even if Porsche hadn't mi
The sequence of events from 2007 that began with Porsche's secret attempt to take over Volkswagen, and instead lead to Porsche being taken over by VW, continues to instigate lawsuits against the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer. A group of hedge funds that suffered over $1 billion in losses sued the car company in New York. Porsche had publicly stated it wasn't trying to buy VW, the hedge funds in question were shorting VW stock, and when Porsche's actual intentions were revealed, the stock sho
If you weren't paying close attention, you probably missed the climax of the Volkswagen and Porsche union. After three years of trying to plan the perfect wedding – and by "perfect" we mean one in which VW didn't have to pay $1.9 billion in tax on the transaction – and two years in which Porsche inadvertently played Bridezilla, the consummation has resulted in matter-of-fact announcements and a jargon-filled press release from VW.
After five months of finessing the deal, Volkswagen and Porsche Holding SE have figured out how to sidestep the tax man: VW's €4.5 billion purchase of the remaining 50.1-percent stake in Porsche's sports car unit was going to mean a tax liability of €1.5 billion ($1.9B U.S.) due to the Baden-Württemberg Finance Ministry. Volkswagen was going to be on the hook for that, and the amount threatened to scuttle the deal.
It's been a whole three weeks since we checked in with Volkswagen's takeoever of Porsche, and the most recent news wasn't so good: investors filed a $2.6 billion suit against Porsche over the Stuttgart maker's attempt to gobble up VW. Those same investors also filed an arbitration application against Volkswagen. That hasn't stopped a VW executive from saying that its ownership of Porsche could finally be concluded this year, according to a report in Der Spiegel.
The Volkswagen takeover of Porsche may look like a slam-dunk, but a group of investment funds is hoping to change that. Bloomberg reports that the investment group has filed a lawsuit in Stuttgart, Germany, seeking $2.6 billion in damages. The group's issue traces back several years earlier to when Porsche attempted to take over the infinitely larger VW.
Porsche plans to grow quite a bit between now and 2015, with a goal to hit 150,000 global sales. That's about twice the German sportscar maker's 2009 totals. That sounds like a very tall order to fill, but Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, reportedly told Automotive News that the task could be accomplished with the help of Volkswagen technology. Von Platen says that a decision on future technology synergies won't be made for another six months, and added that those decisions
The Porsche-as-hedge-fund escapade isn't fully resolved yet. Of course, the biggest denouement will be when Volkswagen finishes integrating the company early next year, but in the meantime, Porsche is still dealing with investor wrath after its stock market foray. A group of U.S.-based hedge funds is suing the Stuttgart carmaker for losses in excess of a billion dollars, claiming those losses came because Porsche misled them about its intent.
Cue Ennio Morricone and the symphonic accompaniment to the endgame: VW has officially taken a 49.9% stake in Porsche. VW paid €3.9 billion ($5.75B U.S.) for its cut, "based on the enterprise value for Porsche AG calculated under a careful due diligence and valuation procedure." That's a few shades more than the €3.3 billion amount VW was saying it would pay a few months ago.
The assimilation of Porsche into the Volkswagen Group continued today as two top executives from Wolfsburg have taken up similar positions at the parent company of the sports car maker. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn will become CEO of Porsche Automobil Holding SE on September 15. He will be joined on the Porsche SE board of management by Hans Dieter Pötsch, who will serve as chief financial officer. Porsche SE is the holding company owned by the Porsche and Piech families that contro
It was really just 35 words that announced the ends of two careers at Porsche: "In the last weeks Wiedeking and Härter have come to the conclusion, that the further strategic development of Porsche SE and Porsche AG is better off, if they are not on board as acting persons." And so, effective immediately, they aren't. The man who would be was king, Wendelin Wiedeking, and his majordomo CFO Holge Härter, have retired from Porsche with immediate effect.
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.
This executive cycle isn't uncommon, especially in Germany: CEO displays great leadership over time, then decides to do something daring, then gets caught in a series of unfortunate events, then gets a tarnished reputation, then departs the formerly high-flying company (see also: "Schrempp" and "Pischetsrieder"). Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is hoping to avoid that last phase, and his company has been fighting back rumors that his departure is imminent.
Volkswagen labor union chief Bernd Osterloh has called out Porsche's CEO for holding up a merger between the two German automakers: "Together, one could do a whole lot of more things if [Wendelin] Wiedeking would end his ego trip." Osterloh believes Wiedeking is standing in the way of a tie-up with VW, and his repeated thrusts and parries are only making things difficult for both companies.
The way things read, Porsche might not have to get a merger deal done with Volkswagen, but it would appear to be in the carmaker's best interests if it does. The holdup seems to be Porsche – since VW still doesn't know what Porsche's financial situation is, talks broke down earlier this week. VW's labor leader, who has a seat on VW's board, has also said he doesn't want to speak to Porsche again until Porsche tells everyone what it really has in mind.
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.
Automotive News Europe reports today that Porsche and Volkswagen have finally cleared the way for combining their brands under a single operation. The new carmaking group would have no less than 10 brands under one roof, though the "independence of all brands and explicitly also of Porsche shall be ensured." VW will be bring its nine brands to the table, while the Porsche brand itself would be contributed by Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the separate holding company owned by members of the Porsc
Looks like Porsche won't be feasting on more shares of VW for Thanksgiving. Porsche has apparently decided to postpone its move to buy a majority stake in Volkswagen due to the global economic crisis. CEO Wendelin Wiedeking said he still wants that 75% share of VW, but that it's just too difficult at the moment. It doesn't help that VW shares are trading for "economically ridiculous" prices according to Porsche finance chief Holger Haerter. Porsche shares are trading at 57.261 euros, while VW wa
In the land of mergers and acquisitions, there are takeovers, there are hostile takeovers, and then there are I'm Gonna Git You Sucka No Matter What takeovers. Porsche's increasingly acrimonious battle to swallow VW is becoming that third option, and the brawl might threaten the short term plans of Porsche, VW and Audi. Porsche wants access to Audi engines and electronics, but VW, which owns more than 99-percent of Audi, won't allow it.
Porsche has raised its stake yet again in Volkswagen, going from a bit above 30% ownership in the German giant to a solid 35.14%. The purchase apparently gives Porsche, or rather the company that owns Porsche – Porsche Automobil Holding SE – control over VW. It released a statement today that said, "as a result of this acquisition, Volkswagen... has become a subsidiary of Porsche Automobil Holding SE." Pursuant to German securities law, Porsche also made an offer to purchase Audi at