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German official invites Arab investor in VW: report

  The regional premier of Lower Saxony, the German state where Volkswagen is based, said Tuesday he would welcome an Arab investor in the biggest European carmaker.

“If an Arab investor took a major stake in Volkswagen alongside Lower Saxony, Porsche and Piech, that would be welcome,” Christian Wulff told the regional daily NordWest Zeitung. Ferdinand Piech, the head of VW’s supervisory board, is a key shareholder.

Lower Saxony owns 20% of the shares in VW, while Porsche controls just over 50% and has tried to increase its stake despite hitting financial obstacles. “In times of crisis, fresh liquidity is always welcome,” noted Wulff, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.

On Wednesday, a meeting has been scheduled in Salzburg, Austria between leading members of the Porsche family and Piech to discuss the flagging VW takeover bid.

Gaining control of VW would give Porsche access to the much bigger group’s considerable cash reserves, but no decision has been taken on how a combined group might be organized, a source said on Monday.

Press reports have said VW is also mulling a counter bid for Porsche’s auto activities, a move that would relieve the highly-indebted parent company Porsche SE. But Wolfgang Porsche, head of Porsche’s supervisory board, has ruled out such a sale. (Economic Times)