Former Volkswagen chairman Piech on his way to sell Porsche SE stake

by SpeedLux
Ferdinand Piech

Former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech remains in talk to offer his stake in Porsche SE in a deal that would shock the ownership structure of the business that manages Volkswagen.

Porsche SE is the group from which the billionaire Porsche and Piech families manage 52.2 percent of the ballot shares in Volkswagen, which is still dealing with the impacts of its diesel emissions scandal.

The families are in settlements to buy a significant part of Ferdinand Piech’s 14.7 percent stake in Porsche SE, Porsche SE stated on Friday, confirming a report by Der Spiegel.

“At present, it is still unforeseeable whether the aforesaid modifications in the investor structure of Porsche Automobil Holding SE will in fact occur,” the group stated.

Volkswagen refused to comment.

The Porsche and Piech families have a ability of first refusal on Porsche shares held by Piech, which deserve simply over 1 billion euros ($ 1.1 billion) based on present market prices.

If Piech, who turns 80 next month, were to offer his stake, it would mark end of a period for Volkswagen which he dominated for years. A commercial scion and engineer, he changed VW from local volume manufacturer into a worldwide powerhouse, which owns the Bentley, Bugatti, Skoda, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Audi brands.

The grandson of Ferdinand Porsche – founding member of the sports car maker that established the Beetle under a 1934 agreement with the Nazis – Piech turned around VW as chief executive, from 1993, and later on as chairman. However since resigning as chairman in April 2015 following a showdown with previous CEO Martin Winterkorn, he has ended up being a recluse and unwilling to protect the empire he assisted develop.

“Piech had no more chance to crown his life’s work and has lost the majority of his allies,” stated Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the Center of Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. “Selling off his stake is the most logical action.”

Dudenhoeffer added he doesn’t anticipate the Porsche-Piech families to set up the monetary means to money the buyout and instead expects industrial investors like VW’s two Chinese joint venture partners FAW Group and SAIC Motor to seize the opportunity.

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