Volkswagen does not own Porsche yet. For all intents and purposes, however, Porsche is part of Volkswagen. Volkswagen executives give orders from Porsche board seats. Porsche engineers need to consult Volkswagen Group R&D departments. Insular solutions at Porsche require a written permission from Wolfsburg.
“Actually, Piech and his minion, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, could leave it at that. The integration of both enterprises has progressed so far, that is does not make a difference whether Porsche morphs into a Volkswagen division, or remains legally independent.
So says Der Spiegel, which says the urge to merge has personal reasons. 74 year old Porsche patriarch Piech wants to join the companies that were started by his grandfather and namesake, Ferdinand Porsche.
In the way are international funds which sued Porsche for billions. Porsche made an offer of a few hundred million Euro, but the funds denied. With the lawsuits ongoing, the risk of buying a company that may have to fork over billions is seen as too high.
Now, Volkswagen’s legal department has developed a solution: Volkswagen could buy the remaining 50.1 percent of the Porsche AG and leave the Porsche Holding behind. The operative business is in the AG. Porsche has a corporate structure that makes a Russian doll look like simplicity. As long as Volkswagen will own “all of Porsche,” nobody will ask which Porsche.
Except the suing investment funds, perhaps.