The Qatar Investment Authority could acquire more shares in ailing German sports carmaker Porsche than previously thought, German magazine Focus said.
In an advance copy of an article due to be published tomorrow, the magazine referred to details of a paper outlining the future ownership structure that it said Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking had presented to the Porsche and Piech families.
It said there had been a provision for an external investor to hold 29.9 percent, when so far only a 25 percent share had been mentioned. However, there was no direct mention of Qatar.
Qatar has been discussing the possible size of a stake with Porsche and is due to reveal the outcome in two to three weeks, according to media reports.
Focus also said a Qatari delegation would discuss possible details with the state of Lower Saxony, which is home to Volkswagen. The state owns just over 20 percent of VW and has to approve any deals related to Porsche and VW.
Porsche amassed a ¤9bn ($12.5bn) net debt pile in its aborted attempt to acquire 75 percent of Volkswagen AG votes and has looked to rescue itself by uniting with its cash-rich subsidiary, which is Europe’s largest carmaker. Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piech is a member of the family that controls Porsche. German carmaker Daimler is also in advanced talks to buy a stake in Porsche, German magazine manager magazin reported on Friday on its website, citing financial sources.
Meanwhile, German state-owned bank KfW is opposed to a massive loan request from Porsche and its chances of obtaining any public aid are slim, according to the Economy Minister.
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, in an interview with the Bild daily to be published today, confirmed that KfW was not in favour of Porsche’s bid for a ¤1.75bn
The final word rests with a government commission, which is to meet at a yet-undecided date.
“Objectively, the chances of receiving a positive reply are becoming slimmer following the negative opinion issued by KfW,” the minister said.
Porsche currently owns around 51 percent of the shares in VW and had hoped to raise that stake to 75 percent. It now says the two companies will merge.
Many German politicians feel Porsche does not qualify for state aid as a victim of the global financial crisis, but brought its troubles on itself through market speculation and faulty business strategy.
Like other high-end auto manufacturers, Porsche has also been hit by the crisis, and said on Friday that its sales fell by 15 percent to ¤4.6bn in the first nine months of its fiscal year, which began on August 1.
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