Volkswagen and Porsche will need to live in concubinage for a while longer. They will live and work together, they will be seen at parties such as the upcoming IAA in Frankfurt together, they share beds and platforms, but they won’t be officially married. Volkswagen announced today ”that the planned merger with Porsche SE cannot be implemented within the time frame provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement. Nevertheless, all parties remain committed to the goal of creating an integrated automotive group with Porsche and are convinced that this will take place.”
And why are the nuptials delayed? Says Volkswagen:
“From Volkswagen’s perspective, the continuing legal hurdles mean that it is currently impossible to quantify the economic risks of a merger and therefore to perform the valuation of Porsche SE required to determine the exchange ratio. The main causes of uncertainty are the ongoing proceedings and actions brought against Porsche SE in Germany and the USA for alleged market manipulation.”
There is something else the press release did not mention: 41 banks, funds, sovereign wealth funds and hedge funds have filed suit against Porsche and Volkswagen on Wednesday, reports Wirtschaftswoche. They claim damages in “three digit billion Euro” say the court documents.
Bringing such a big suit costs a lot of money in Germany: Total court costs can be at least 4.5 million Euro ($6.2 million). Loser pays full court costs and the legal costs of the winning party. If you file a suit like this, you better enclose a check of over a million Euro, or the court won’t lift a finger. This rule keeps frivolous lawsuits to a minimum.