Despite reports that investors filed a $2.6 billion suit against Porsche over the Stuttgart maker’s attempt to gobble up VW and an arbitration application against Volkswagen, according to Der Spiegel, a VW executive has said that its ownership of Porsche could finally be concluded this year.
VW had initially predicted that the deal would be concluded by last year but then released a statement in September stating that too many hurdles and unknowns remained concerning investigations and economic consequences for the deal to get done any time in 2011. These hurdles involved previous lawsuits, including one brought by American investors in 2010, and the fact that VW couldn’t evaluate Porsche adequately until they were settled.
However, these latest reports mention nothing of lawsuits and instead, the resolution of the issues include a one-billion-euro tax payment that VW can avoid by creating a holding company by 2014 to control the Porsche stake and VW agreeing to contractually assure Porsche retains control over its models and where it spends its money. According to the above mentioned executive, this opens the door for VW to absorb the final 50.1 percent of Porsche it doesn’t currently own, for a price of €3.9 billion.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that VW and Porsche are working “at arm’s length” even though they have the same CEO and CFO and develop cars together, a fact which is testing CEO Martin Winterkorn’s patience. Earlier this month, Winterkorn was quoted as saying he wants to bring the companies closer “without needing to have a lawyer stand next to a Porsche employee every time he screws something into a Volkswagen or vice-versa.”