Page last updated at 22:30 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 23:30 UK

Carmakers Porsche and VW to merge

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Porsche's luxury brand joins VW's mass-market models

Carmaker Porsche says it has agreed a merger with fellow German manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) after weeks of talks between the two firms' management.

The luxury carmaker said in a statement that it wanted to see the "creation of an integrated car manufacturing group".

VW hailed the decision of the Porsche and Piech families, owners of Porsche group, to create the merger.

It means a Porsche takeover of VW will not happen. The format of the new group will be decided in the next four weeks.

Talks will now take place between the two carmakers, VW's home state of Lower Saxony, and employee representatives.

The state's president Christian Wulff said in a statement: "We are ready for discussions, which must be carried out quickly."

Brand independence

Porsche
Porsche will now hold further discussions with VW

The move should unite 10 brands under one roof, Porsche said.

Nine of the brands are owned by VW, and the other is the Porsche sports car brand.

"In the final structure 10 brands shall stand below an integrative leading company alongside each other, whereby the independence of all brands and explicitly also of Porsche shall be ensured," a Porsche statement said.

It also said that its plan would also include unspecified "capital measures".

In January, Porsche announced it had increased its stake in Volkswagen to more than 50%, and said it planned to lift its stake in VW to 75%.

However, even with a 75% stake it would not have been able to take complete control because under the "VW law" the state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 20% stake, can block strategic decisions.

Stock markets had closed before the announcement, with Porsche shares up 1.2%, and VW's down slightly, by 0.4%.



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