VW Buys Porsche
A storied sports car company is bought out by Europe’s largest automaker after a long and turbulent deal that nearly divided two of Germany’s most powerful automotive families.
It’s a takeover that’s been years in the making, but Volkswagen has finally moved to buy the remaining 50.1 % stake of Porsche. Under the newly-structured plan-agreed to by both companies, and the Porsche and Piech families-VW will pay 5.6 billion in cash, and to avoid a huge tax bill, a single ordinary share in Volkswagen, in exchange for the remaining majority share of Porsche’s operations.
While the two companies have cooperated on various vehicles in recent years, the agreement now makes Porsche a full member of VW’s stable of brands that include Audi and Bentley. Volkswagen bought the initial 49.9% stake in Porsche back in 2009, after Porsche’s failed attempt to buy Volkswagen rang up billions in debt. But, the full merger was put on hold due to legal and tax hurdles. The final deal was made possible by a new agreement with German tax authorities.
The sale of Porsche to VW comes shortly after the death of Ferdinand A. Porsche-grandson of the company’s founder and designer of the famed 911 sports car.
The industrial engineer responsible for the shape and design of the iconic car died this April in Austria at the age of 76. Ferdinand, known by family and friends as F.A. or “Butzi”, was a third-generation automaker-- following in the footsteps of his father, Ferry and his grandfather-Ferdinand—who he was affectionately named after. The Porsche 911 that Ferdinand designed debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Nearly 5 decades later his distinctive design is still evident on the 7th generation Porsche 911 that was just introduced. Ferdinand worked for Porsche in several capacities on and off for nearly 30 years and was the creator and head of Porsche Design Studios. His long lasting influence on automotive design is without question—as the 911 continues to be-to many enthusiasts-the finest performance car design ever.