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Employees aim for up to 5% stake in VW

The roughly 370,000 employees of Volkswagen and Porsche are striving initially to acquire a stake of up to 5% in the automotive group, VW's labor chief told a German newspaper.

“I don't know how much we will end up with. It certainly won't be 10 percent overnight, but between one and five percent to begin with,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Bernd Osterloh on Saturday as saying.

It was not clear yet how the employees would finance the purchase of their stake, the paper said.

Volkswagen - Europe's biggest carmaker - agreed to buy a 42% stake in the sports car unit of debt-ridden Porsche SE earlier this month.

It will pay up to €3.3 billion ($4.7 billion) this year for the initial stake in the unit, Porsche AG, paving the way for the creation of an “integrated” automotive group by the end of 2011.

To finance the purchase, Volkswagen plans a capital increase of preference shares in the first half of 2010. (Reuters)