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Volkswagen-Porsche merger questionable due to legal issues

The Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG) had originally planned to merge with Porsche Automobil Holding SE by the second half of 2011 but with massive lawsuits outstanding against Porsche, VAG may have to hold off on the merger until sometime next year – leaving Porsche SE scrambling to secure new investment options to carry the company until the merger occurs.

Speaking on the matter of the merger, CFO of both Porsche and VW Hans Dieter Poetsch stated that Volkswagen will indeed take over the Porsche Auto Group even if they have to buy into the automaking branch of Porsche prior to completing the merger with Porsche SE. VAG currently owns a 49.9% stake in the Porsche Auto Group portion, so acquiring the needed shares to take the company over is more of a legal issue than a financial issue at this point.

It seems that Volkswagens main concern in an immediate merger with Porsche Automobil Holding SE is the fact that the company is being sued, both in the US and in Germany, for billions of dollars over a foiled stock-based buyout of Volkswagen last year. The first such legal battle based in the US was dismissed in December and while a second, similar suit has been filed by a different hedge fund group, Porsche doesn’t seem too worried about that. However, with a 2.5 billion euro (that’s $3.5 billion US dollars) lawsuit outstanding in Germany, VAG is understandably sheepish about getting involved right now.

Volkswagen seems dedicated to the merger and the company insists that it will happen, even though it may not happen until after the current legal battles are settled. In the meantime, Porsche SE is considering a 5 billion euro (almost $7 million USD) investment plan that is intended to attract new shareholders to the brand. This new plan will be pitched to the current shareholders no later than the group’s June 17th meeting but with the company in need of cash flow, Porsche SE could make a move to discuss this with investors and get the process underway well before the mid-summer meeting.

Source: Automotive News

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