The era of the Porsche and Piech families controlling the German sports car maker looks like it will soon be drawing to a close of sorts. Following quickly after yesterday's approval by the Volkswagen supervisory board of a merger agreement with Porsche, Qatar moved in to take a stake today. The Persian Gulf emirate has bought 10 percent of the Porsche SE holding company as well as the options that Porsche held on 20 percent of VW shares, though no purchase price has been announced.
When Porsche started making its big move for control of VW last year, it ended up with way more options than it could afford. It's still not entirely clear who will own what when the whole deal is done in 2011, but it appears that Qatar may end up as one of the biggest shareholders of the combined company. What stake will be owned by the Porsche and Piech families is unknown. Even as the families cede control of Porsche, Ferdinand Piech remains firmly in charge back in Wolfsburg.
Qatar now a shareholder in Porsche
Stuttgart. This Friday, in a festive ceremony, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart, and Qatar Holding LLC (QH) signed an agreement signaling the entry of the Emirate of Qatar into the Porsche SE family. In the afternoon, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche SE, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, welcomed the high-ranking delegation from Qatar led by Prime Minister of the Emirate, Sheik Hamad ibn Jassim ibn Jabir Al-Thani, to the historical Porsche Villa located on Killesberg Hill outside of Stuttgart. There, in the presence of the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger, the two men signed two contractual agreements.
The Prime Minister of the Emirate of Qatar signed the purchase agreement with which Qatar will acquire ten percent of the ordinary shares of Porsche SE. As spokespersons for the family shareholders, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piëch also signed the agreement. The second agreement, which provides for the takeover by the Emirate of a major share in the cash settled options relating to Volkswagen shares, was signed by Ahmad Al Sayed, CEO of Qatar Holding, and Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, Michael Macht, as well as his Deputy Chairman, Thomas Edig, who are both members of the Executive Board of Porsche SE.
Dr. Wolfgang Porsche gave the Emirate of Qatar a warm welcome as a new member of the Porsche shareholder family and declared: "Today is a historic day for us. For the first time in Porsche's history, an external investor has acquired a holding of ordinary shares that so far have been solely owned by the family members of Porsche and Piëch." The Porsche and Piëch families, continued Supervisory Board Chairman, have expressly welcomed the decision of the Emirate to become a shareholder in the company and, at the same time, to take on a major holding in the options to VW ordinary shares held by Porsche. "This will not only improve Porsche's liquidity situation, but it is also an important step on the predestined road to an integrated automobile company, which we intend to forge together with Volkswagen," explained Dr. Porsche.
Sheik Hamad ibn Jassim ibn Jabir Al-Thani emphasized that Qatar considers itself a strategic investor who has great interest in the long-term positive development of Porsche. "Porsche ranks among the most valuable automobile brands in the world. We are proud to be a part of this sports car manufacturer and its rich tradition and history. Through our trust-based collaboration with the family shareholders, we will help ensure that the success story of Porsche, and, in the future, of Volkswagen continues to be written," explained the Prime Minister.