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Volkswagen Auto Group buys remaining stake in Porsche

It has been a long time coming but yesterday it became official, the Volkswagen Auto Group has reached an agreement to purchase the remaining 50.1% of Porsche SE automotive group that they do not already own – thus making Volkswagen AG the controlling owner of the luxury sports car builder.

Volkswagen announced their intentions to purchase the 50.1% of Porsche SE that they had previously not held after first reaching an agreement with German government tax officials that alleviated VW from a massive federal tax related to the buyout. The final 50.1% of Porsche reportedly will cost Volkswagen Auto Group $5.54 billion US Dollars (4.46 billion Euros) with roughly $4.82 billion US of that being attributed to the current equity value of the Porsche brand (3.88 billion Euros) combined with an additional 720 million US Dollars that is added in to cover various other costs outlined in the agreement. With Volkswagen Auto Group purchasing the rest of the Porsche automotive from the Porsche holding company – Volkswagen is able to avoid the legal battles facing the Porsche management. VW sources expect that Porsche brand will be fully absorbed into VW by August 1st.

This all started back in 2005 when Porsche attempted to takeover Volkswagen which, after it failed, spurred millions of dollars in lawsuits both in the US and in Europe. Those massive lawsuits played a major part in the slow going process that many expected would end in a merger of sorts between Porsche holding and VW Auto Group. However, in an effort to avoid any liability from the takeover-related lawsuits, VW has purchased the Porsche automotive brand rather than merging with the entire Porsche corporation. VW purchased the original 49.9% in December of 2009.

Once Volkswagen Auto Group has officially absorbed the Porsche brand, VW will strengthen its stake as the world’s largest automaker. General Motors has made moves to claim as being the world’s largest in terms of volume but now that VW has added Porsche and Ducati – they may be able to more comfortably stand atop the global leaderboard in terms of annual sales volume.

More impressive than the sheer number of vehicles sold by the VW AG brands is the diversity of their many marquees. First off, you have global brands like Audi and Volkswagen with full model lineups that range from affordable subcompacts to high end, luxury supercars to rugged(ish) SUVs. If you want even more luxury than Audi has to offer, the Bentley brand has you covered with a lineup of high horsepower coupes, convertibles, sedans and an upcoming SUV. Is high performance more your thing? VW AG has the Porsche brand for those who are ballin’ on a budget (albeit a big one) and if you need premium European performance, Lamborghini is under the VW umbrella as well. How about the world’s highest horsepower and fastest car? VW has that too with the Bugatti brand and the mighty Veyron. There is also Ducati, for those who want their high performance on two weeks.

In addition to that incredible lineup of globally available consumer models, Volkswagen AG also has the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle division, along with two brands dedicated to heavy duty commercial vehicles – Scania AB and MAN SE. Volkswagen also oversees the Skoda brand, which does business in select markets throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and South America as well as the SEAT brand, which sells cars throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. Finally, VW AG owns 19.9% of the Suzuki Motor Corporation – a non-majority portion but VW is still Suzuki’s largest shareholder in terms of percentage owned.

Source: Automotive News