The Sheik Wants Porsche and Volkswagen

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Porsche finally has a written offer from the Sheik of Qatar, if the Frankfurter Allgmeine‘s sources are not mistaken. It sounds pretty official: “We have a written offer of the Qatar Investment Authority which details their engagement in the Porsche Holding SE and their purchase of our options for Volkswagen stock,” said a Porsche spokesperson to the FAZ. Currently, the both sides are in the bargaining phase: How much or how little will they pay?

Porsche owns 51 percent of Volkswagen—one of the reasons why they are sitting on a debt pile of more than €9 billion. They also hold options on more than 20 percent of the VW stock. With these options, the Sheik could buy more than a fifth of Volkswagen at highly discounted price. The FAZ says it could be half off. It’s also unclear how big a share of Porsche Qatar is seeking. According to Porsche’s stockholder agreement, it cannot be more than 30 percent. But agreements can be changed. As an owner of Volkswagen and Porsche, Qatar wants both companies to merge. How, is anybody’s guess.

That the bargaining session between Stuttgart and the Sheik are progressing is underscored by another bit of news. Automobilwoche [sub] just reported that Porsche withdrew their application for a government-sponsored loan by the KfW Bank. “We are in discussions about alternative financing” is the message from Porsche. “There is no causal connection” between the withdrawal and the Qatar offer. They were right.

A little later, Reuters reported that “KfW had rejected the loan application.” No government bailout for Porsche. At least not from the German government . . . .

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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