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In 2008, Porsche ended its year with a ginormous 8.5 billion euro profit. Pretty amazing for a company that only makes 100,000 vehicles per year. Or not. As it turns out, Porsche's profits had everything to do with the German automaker's plan to buy out the much larger Volkswagen Group, and Porsche's considerable amount of VW stock options shot up in value to over 1,000 euros per share, making Porsche look like the financial genius of the 21st century.

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For the past 15 years Ferdinand Piech has been the guiding force behind Volkswagen, first as CEO and Chairman, and since his mandatory retirement in 2002, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Before that he headed Audi and helped to cultivate the four-ringed brand's engineering reputation. However, the Piech era may be drawing to a close as the Porsche takeover of VW looks set to break out into intra-family warfare. While Porsche is public company, much of the voting control is held by members

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Porsche got what it wanted with the repeal of the "Volkswagen Law", but has done nothing yet but stand over its prey, waiting for... well, nobody knows what Porsche is waiting for. However, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking has told VW that the smaller company will not make Christmas dinner of the larger: Porsche will wait until after the holidays to take majority control of Volkswagen.

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