Porsche SE presses ahead with VW merger plans

Tuesday, 21 June 2011 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

STUTTGART: Porsche has scheduled an extraordinary general meeting for mid-December as it presses on with preparations for a merger with Volkswagen, brushing aside any remaining hurdles.

“We are preparing everything necessary for the planned combination,” Porsche’s Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday.

VW wants to overtake Toyota as the world’s largest carmaker with 10 million vehicle sales annually by 2018 through a mixture of aggressive acquisitions, emerging market growth and streamlined production costs.

Getting full control over the lucrative Porsche AG sportscar business and its industry-leading margins is a core element of VW’s strategy, and holding parent Porsche SE is the key.

But talks have been hampered by pending legal and tax issues at Porsche.

Any merger needs to be given the green light by VW’s preferred shareholders, which is considered unlikely until Porsche has cleaned up its balance sheet entirely and resolved issues over tax liabilities with the German authorities.

“We are confident that we can successfully resolve tax questions in good time,” Poetsch said on Friday.

Porsche has said it estimates even odds that it can be folded into Volkswagen by the end of this year, when its agreement for a merger under the leadership of VW is still valid.

Nonetheless, Porsche and VW have expressed a commitment to go through with the deal next year if there is a delay.

Volkswagen is also juggling several other deals, which include combining the truck-making operations of MAN and Sweden’s Scania and forming an alliance with Japanese group Suzuki .