Porsche Gears Up for a Possible Takeover

By: Jenny Mclane

Porsche AG, the maker of valuable and profitable cars like 911, Cayenne and Boxter, will increase its shares in Volkswagen to avoid takeover from abroad. In view of this forthcoming act, auto analysts predict that Porsche is gearing up for a takeover of its own.

Recently, Porsche announced that it will purchase sufficient shares in Volkswagen to boost its share to 29.9 percent. Thirty percent of which means a full takeover bid. It seems that the automaker is not only concentrating on the quality of its but also with its shares.

Porsche, a German automaker, is controlled by the family of Ferdinand Piech Volkswagen chairman. Nowadays, the automaker is the biggest shareholder of Volkswagen.

Wendelin Wiedeking, Porsche CEO, said that the automaker has no plans to takeover VW. He added that the automaker wants to sell 8.75 million new shares. "We believe this may presage a full bid by the company for Volkswagen, fulfilling Ferdinand Piech's evident wish to control the company ahead of a likely expiry of the Volkswagen law limiting any one shareholder to 20 percent of voting rights," said analyst Stephen Cheetham at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in London.

Cheetam noted that the operational impact on Volkswagen being owned by Porsche "is also highly uncertain,'' and that the ouster of Pischetsrieder may "herald a turn away from (his) cost-reduction strategy to one focusing on products and volume growth.''

Cheetam also added that Porsche have to bank on debt-financing to pay for Volkswagen. Said brand is now valued at approximately 30 billion euros ($38.38 billion). Porsche's stake coupled with the state of Lower Saxony, would be unlikely to sell its share amounting to 20 percent. This means that Porsche only need to acquire about 50 percent of Volkswagen.

Credit Suisse, an auto industry critic, said the raise in stake as well as the authorization for the hike in its capital was Porsche sending a signal that "it has the necessary firing power to bid for VW" if its influence at Volkswagen was ever in doubt.

Volkswagen is experiencing turmoil and amidst this turmoil and company's plans, media has reported that Wolfgang Bernhard, the head of VW's flagship Volkswagen brand, intends to resign. According to some critics, Porsche is solidifying the company to improve its operations and strategies.

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