Friday 19 January 2018

Qatar Holding sells its 10pc Porsche stake back to family

Value of deal not disclosed as shares in sports car maker increase

A vintage Porsche 911 SC at the Jarama Vintage Festival, Madrid, last week. The event seeks to revive the 1960s, 70s and 80s, attracting classic cars and motorbikes
A vintage Porsche 911 SC at the Jarama Vintage Festival, Madrid, last week. The event seeks to revive the 1960s, 70s and 80s, attracting classic cars and motorbikes

Dinesh Nair and Andreas Cremer

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, has sold its 10pc stake in Porsche SE to the luxury carmaker's family shareholders, four years after it first invested in the firm.

Qatar Holding, which owns stakes in some of the world's largest companies, said it sold the common shares in the automaker to the Porsche and Piech families. It did not disclose the value of the transaction.

The sovereign fund arm said it remained committed to the Integrated Automotive Group which includes Volkswagen and Porsche through its 17pc stake in VW.

Europe's largest automaker last year sealed the purchase of Porsche's car-making business after a merger failed in a tangle of legal disputes.

"This transaction results as a logical step after the creation of the Integrated Automotive Group between Volkswagen and Porsche AG as finalised in 2012," Qatar Holding said in the statement.

Neither party gave any details of the price paid for the stake. Porsche SE shares were trading at €60.76 per share yesterday, up 0.36pc on the day.

Porsche was forced to sell a 10pc voting stake to Qatar Holding in 2009 as a way to prop up its strained finances.

The Qatar sale gave outsiders a say in the debt-saddled family-controlled auto group for the first time since it started building Porsche branded cars in 1948.

Porsche's holding company, controlled by the Porsche and Piech families, still holds about 51pc of VW common stock, making it one of three big controlling interests in the German car group.

VW, in return, now owns all of Porsche's core business, the automotive division that makes models such as the iconic 911 sports car and the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle.

"This is a matter between the Porsche/Piech families and Qatar," Porsche SE spokesman Albrecht Bamler said yesterday, declining to elaborate.

"This (sale by Qatar) is positive because the stake is returning to the hands of the Porsche/ Piech families," Mr Bamler added.

Porsche and Volkswagen had first agreed a full merger in August 2009, after Porsche racked up more than €10bn of debt in a failed attempt to take over VW, sparking feuds among the Porsche and Piech family dynasties.

Irish Independent

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