If you are one of the richest car executives of the world, if you have “about twelve children. You never can tell for sure”, if those children are from four different women (I did not say wives), and if you are 73, you slowly start doing some estate planning. That’s exactly what Ferdinand Piech, Emperor of Volkswagen and Porsche, did. His heirs are livid.
According to a report in the German Focus magazine, the potent patriarch transferred his shares to two trusts, called “Ferdinand Karl Alpha” and “Ferdinand Karl Beta.” As long as Ferdinand is alive, he calls the shots at the trusts. After Piech has gone to the great design studio in the sky, the shares can only be sold after the managing board and the advisory board of the trust plus at least 9 of the 12 children voted yes. In other words: When hell freezes over.
It is understandable that the heirs are not enthused. Piech thinks that he has “the support of the majority of my heirs.” In his case, that could be 7 out of 12 children. Some are considering taking their dad to court, writes Focus. Especially the children that were born out of wedlock feel slighted: They get less than their more legitimate brothers and sisters. Piech’s current wife and former nanny of his children, Ursula Piech, will receive a central position in the trust. But Piech doesn’t want her to go to other owners either: Should she divorce him, or should she marry after Piech’s death, she’ll lose everything.
PS: The second to last word in the headline is an engineering term …