High Stakes Porsche Poker

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Wendelin Wiedeking has his deal with the Sheik of Qatar. The Sheik of Qatar wants to put down €7B for 20 percent of the Porsche Holding, and for their option package that buys the Sheik 20 percent of Volkswagen. “The deal has been finalized,” Automobilwoche [sub] heard from usually indiscreet German bankers.

The Sheik’s money would nearly wipe out Porsche’s debt load, leaving only €2B to pay off. It would also mean the end of more profits than sales through derivatives, and the end of Wiedeking’s dream to get more than the 51 percent of Volkswagen Porsche currently owns. Under the deal, the Sheik would own 20 percent of Volkswagen directly, and he would own indirectly 20 percent of the 51 percent Porsche owns. Still with us?

The deal may be finalized. But it isn’t closed yet. There still is the extraordinary supervisory board meeting, scheduled at Porsche for July 23.

At that meeting, board members will decide whether to approve the Sheik’s deal, or whether 49 percent of Porsche will be sold to Volkswagen. Anybody who follows the trials and tribulations of PJ O’Rourke’s favorite car maker has noticed that the Sheik raised his initial offer of €5B to €7B.

“Kein Problem” was the answer from Wolfsburg. According to Der Spiegel, Volkswagen now offers “substantially more than €4B” for 49.9 percent of Porsche. The magazine Focus consulted their CPA and he calculated that after taxes, the Volkswagen deal would bring a billion more into Porsche’s kitty than than the Sheik’s new offer. Also, it might sit better with Ferdinand Piech, who also sits on the Porsche board. Lower Saxony would also be pleased. Everybody except Wiedeking seems to like the Volkswagen offer. The Sheik could get a piece of the pie also. Lets not forget, he would need extra money to exercise those Volkswagen options.

“Whether Wiedeking’s future will be discussed at the meeting is unknown,” write the masters of insinuation at Der Spiegel. “There are rumors after rumors that Wiedeking will go shortly after Porsche’s matters have been settled.”

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="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Corey Lewis The short truck is terrible. The tire blocks all rear visibility while making the tiny bed very tricky to access. And the wheels on it look like they're from 2002. Other than that, I really like the idea of the Grenadier and it seems like a good effort. I wouldn't buy one because of the tractor recirculating ball steering, which makes it terrible in everyday use.
  • Bjohnson10 Coast to Coast by the Jesus and Mary Chain. It's only about someone on a cross-country motorcycle trip while high on heroin.
  • Funky D A few from my road trip playlist: Eddie Rabbitt - Drivin' My Life AwayAmerica - Ventura Highway---Herb Alpert - Route 101Jerry Reed - East Bown and DownEddie Money - Shakin'Lindey Buckingham - Holiday RoadWar - Low RiderTears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Not a driving song per se, but if you've seen the video, you'll get it)Wang Chung - Wait (Gotta see the end credits of "To Live and Die in LA", for this one)
  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
  • Bd2 The Hyundai Sonota is the best sedan on the market right now.