Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Porsche takes majority VW stake

Badge on a VW-Porsche 914
VW is the world's third-biggest carmaker, behind Toyota and GM

German luxury carmaker Porsche has announced that it has increased its stake in Volkswagen to more than 50%.

Porsche plans to lift its stake in VW to 75% later this year.

Even a 75% stake would not give it complete control as the VW law allows the state of Saxony, which holds 20%, to block strategic decisions.

VW has a dominant shareholding in Swedish truckmaker Scania, and under Swedish law Porsche is now obliged to make a takeover offer for Scania.

Porsche has said that it has no strategic interest in Scania and that it will offer the minimum price for the shares that is legally permitted.

Most valuable company

Porsche now holds 50.76% of the voting shares in VW, up from 42%.

It had hoped to raise its stake above 50% last year, but delayed it because of a dramatic rise in the share price.

VW shares rose from 210 euros to more than 1,000 euros per share in two trading sessions in October, which briefly made VW the most valuable company in the world.

The price spike was caused by hedge funds desperately needing to buy shares after it emerged that Porsche controlled much more shares in VW than had been thought.

The takeover will see Porsche, a family-owned manufacturer of about 100,000 luxury cars a year, own the world's third-largest carmaker, which makes five million vehicles a year.

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