2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
The takeover dispute is over. Porsche was integrated into VW as the twelfth brand.
It is a late, but all the greater satisfaction for the Volkswagen boss. Around four years after the crashing attempt of the rival Porsche at the time to swallow Europe's largest carmaker through the back door with the help of financial transactions, Martin Winterkorn now has a good laugh: The highly profitable and image-rich sports car brand is now completely part of his empire - and not the other way around. The purchase of the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche AG for 4.49 billion euros, which was sealed on Wednesday, marks a strategic and at the same time psychological goal for the Wolfsburg-based company.
Takeover battle between Porsche and VW has a lasting effect
After months of struggling to find the right installation plan, VW can start implementing the Porsche integration. But despite all the relief, there is still no question of relaxation. The major Porsche construction site seems closed for the time being. A lot of detailed work is still waiting for the managers on both sides.
The legal dispute over the alleged deception of investors will at least keep the Porsche holding company (PSE) busy. With the purchase of the remaining Porsche AG shares, VW avoids having to deal directly with the legal legacy of the 2008/2009 takeover battle: the risk remains in the PSE. However, controversial questions such as the real tax burden of the Porsche deal or the timing of the first savings in the entire group are not over.
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"Porsche retains its very own identity and its operational independence," promises Winterkorn. The sports car business bundled in the AG - previously 49.9 percent belonged to the Wolfsburg-based company - is intended to further refine the VW range. Because the group's twelfth brand after motorcycle manufacturer Ducati is able to take advantage of the uninterrupted rush of the Chinese and Americans for luxury cars "made in Germany".
Porschehad recently presented brilliant figures. The AG brought in an operating result of 1.26 billion euros in the first half of the year. The happy to buy Asians and US customers fit well into the global growth concept of the parent company, other offshoots can currently compensate for the weakness in the crisis markets of Southern and Western Europe with the strength on other continents. At PSE, the one-time effect of the sale to VW amounts to up to seven billion euros. They should also flow into the repayment of billions in debt.
VW and Porsche expect savings in the millions
Nevertheless, there are uncertainties that the end of the hanging game over the new Porsche structure cannot ignore - such as the timing of cost reductions through more cooperation in development, purchasing and production. After the partners had previously treated themselves like external suppliers and had to pay dearly for exchanged parts, they are now hoping for annual savings of 700 million euros. VW CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch left it open until exactly when this would succeed.
In addition, Volkswagen has a full cash register, but at the same time has to put the modular transverse matrix (MQB) on the rails. The technology should make production more uniform and cheaper. The Audi made the group-wide premiereA3, the new MQB-based Golf 7 will be launched in August, and Porsche should also benefit from it. Barclays Bank analysts are cautiously optimistic: "The next few months will also require a little good faith."
Profit with Porsche is a long time coming
And Pötsch has already indicated that Porsche's profitability will not have a noticeable effect on the group result for a while. Because VW made provisions in the event of a takeover via option deals, the corresponding write-downs will probably just offset the Swabian contribution this year. The short-term "zero-sum game" should become a profit community for both as soon as possible.
For Lower Saxony, who are used to success, this point is not a matter of course - after all, they argued in the tax dispute about the Porsche installation, which was brought forward from mid-2014 to mid-2012, with the business prospects after the merger: If profits bubble up earlier and stronger, the state will have new revenue in the coffers.
Reviews of the VW-Porsche deal are ongoing
Critics, however, suspect that VW will save 1.5 billion euros by cleverly exploiting a tax law. Pötsch and Winterkorn countered: "Volkswagen remains a reliable taxpayer." Works council boss Bernd Osterloh called the allegations "nonsense", a sum of "well over 100 million euros" is not a stick.
Where exactly and in what form the tax authorities will be involved, however, initially remained unclear. The authorities are also checking whether the Porsche deal was announced in good time. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) tried, however, to smooth things over: So far this has only been a "routine process". (dpa)
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