Porsche is moving towards a deal with Qatar that, if successful, will give the Gulf state a shareholding in Volkswagen and will clear the way for the two manufacturers to merge.
Porsche has been left with substantial debt (9 billion euros) since trying to absorb bigger rival Volkswagen shortly before the global economic crisis took hold, but as the financial situation worsened in the car industry, so too did Porsche’s position.
Initial talks saw Qatar interested in a stake in Porsche, but now with Volkswagen dominating the debt-riddled partnership, Qatar’s interest has shifted.
Aid from the state could save the deal from ever going ahead, but there are strong signals from Berlin that the request will be denied.
Porsche, already owning almost 50 per cent of VW stock, is rumoured to be prepared to surrender its right to buy about a fifth of Volkswagen’s voting shares, leaving these open for Qatar to purchase.
If the deal were to be completed, Qatar would be on equal footing with Volkswagen’s second biggest shareholder, the state of Lower Saxony.
We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.