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
In August, 2009, as the scuttled merger of Porsche and Volkswagen had gone bad and Porsche was backed up against the ropes, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (PAHSE) relinquished a ten-percent stake in itself to Qatar Holdings as well as options it held on 17 percent of VW shares. The sale meant that, for the first time since the founding of the company 61 years before, an entity outside the Porsche and Piech families had a say in the running of PAHSE.
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
Do you recall the failed efforts by Porsche to take over Volkswagen? According to a Bloomberg report, former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (above) and ex-CFO Holger Haerter have finally been charged with market manipulation over the exercising of options as part of the German sportscar manufacturer's ill-fated attempt to take over the much larger VW. That failed bid eventually resulted in the reverse coming true – VW swallowing Porsche.
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.
Porsche spent billions in an effort to purchase as many Volkswagen shares as possible from 2006 to 2008. But eventually the luxury sports car maker's debt became so overwhelming that it was Volkswagen that ended up in position to snap up it's fellow German automaker. On the surface, that's the end of the story, but Viking Global Investors claims that the tale is a lot more complicated. Business Week reports that the New York-based investment company is suing Porsche for misleading investors to "
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.
Porsche has clearly gotten itself in way too deep in its attempt to take over control of Volkswagen, and now it's scrambling to find a way to relieve some of its crushing debt load. In addition to the possible €5 billion investment (nearly $7 billion USD) from Qatar, Reuters is reporting that Porsche's board is going to consider selling part of its car business to Volkswagen. VW AG has proposed a full merger, a plan that Porsche is resisting. Instead, it could sell them a 49% stake in Porsc
Porsche maintains it still has its mojo, but Volkswagen is treating the company like Porsche's got lunch money and VW is hungry. VW -- which Porsche effectively owns -- loaned Porsche €700 million ($983.8 million) earlier this year, with Porsche due to pay it back in September. As collateral for the loan Porsche used its wholesale distribution arm Porsche Holding GmbH.
According both automakers, the Porsche-Volkswagen merger has been stalled after VW's management determined Porsche "is lacking several fundamental conditions for the discussions." According to a VW spokesperson, the rift stems from Porsche's inability to demonstrate how the two companies would be integrated, but neither automaker has elaborated on why the talks have stopped. Informed speculation suggests that between management changes, structural considerations and Porsche's $12 billion in debt
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